MassCOSH Responds to Bus Driver Death

April 10, 2014

The recent worker death of 46-year-old Nancy Woods of Rutland, is sad and tragic; however it was not a freak accident said the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) in a statement released today.
According to news reports, Woods, a bus driver for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority, was killed while attempting to stop a bus that had started moving without her in the vehicle.
Many times, the events that claim workers lives are labeled as ‘freak accidents,’ however, MassCOSH believes that events like this are entirely preventable with adequate training and when employers make worker safety their paramount concern.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Nancy Woods,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, MassCOSH’s Executive Director. “While the investigation is still underway, we do know that being struck-by vehicles and objects is one of the major causes of injury and death for Massachusetts workers and can be prevented. We also strongly disagree when accidents are referred to as ‘freak.’ The label implies there is nothing that can be done to protect workers and prevent fatal accidents. Many times, investigations later reveal that simple steps and practices could have been in place that would have resulted in lives saved and families remaining whole – there is nothing ‘freak’ about it.”

Later this month, on April 28th at noon, MassCOSH, along with its members and allies, will gather at the Massachusetts State House steps to observe International Workers’ Memorial Day. The public gathering is intended to draw attention to workplace fatalities and call for action to be taken at the state level to better protect workers.