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Welcome to Texas Work Injury Law Blog

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.

Job Injury Attorney – Dallas-Fort Worth: Encouraging Schools to Provide Teens with Workplace Safety Training is Now Texas Law

Posted on June 21st, 2017

English: City Hall of Austin, Texas since 2006

English: City Hall of Austin, Texas since 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On June 9, 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that addresses an alarming workplace statistic. According to research, teenagers are twice as likely to suffer a workplace injury, as compared to adults. Approximately 80% of teens are in the workforce today. About 60,000 teens visit emergency rooms annually for treatment of workplace injuries. The new law encourages educators and school districts to include workplace safety training in the curriculum of appropriate classes for students from Grades 7 through 12.

The goal of this law is to improve teen workplace health and safety with the aid of policymakers. Dr. Greg Bonnen, Republican State House Representative, and Republican State Senator Larry Taylor, chair of the Senate Education Committee, worked with the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) to introduce House Bill 2010. Immediate past president of AIHA Steven E. Lacey, PhD, CIH, CSP, testified in support of the bill before Senate committees and the Texas State House. He says the next part of the challenge is to help schools and school districts to implement the new legislation.

Dr. Lacey said this law represents the beginning of helping to put a stop to workplace injuries and fatalities suffered by teenagers. He seeks to ensure that Texas professionals in the area of workplace health and safety collaborate with these efforts, as well.

The potential for workplace injuries and fatalities is widespread and could apply to any on-the-job setting. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides safety rules for employers and issues citations for alleged safety violations. Considering the teen workplace statistics, more truly does need to be done to protect teen in on-the-job settings.

–Guest Contributor


Three Texas Workers Die in Roadway Construction in Amarillo, Texas

Posted on June 14th, 2017

Three friends and co-workers were killed and two workers were injured at a roadway construction site on eastbound I-40 in Amarillo, Texas, on Saturday morning, June 10, 2017. A pick-up truck hauling a 16-foot flatbed trailer was traveling through the construction site when the trailer broke loose from the pickup and crashed into road paving equipment and the crew working with it.

The deceased workers are 63-year-old Julian Zamora,  59-year-old Ygnacio Rodriquez, and 36-year-old Jorge Noe Catano. They and the two injured workers are all J. Lee Milligan employees. One of the injured workers suffered life-threatening injuries, and the other was severely injured. The Amarillo Police Department said the scene on I-40 was located just east of Whitaker Road.

At approximately 9:05 a.m., the silver Ford pickup hauling construction materials such as sand and rebar was traveling eastbound on I-40 when the trailer became disconnected. The trailer careened into road construction lanes and then crashed into the road paving machine and the five workers. The trailer then went off-road and fell onto its side, which caused the sand load to hit a construction crew pickup truck that was parked beside the machinery, off the road.

The driver whose trailer broke off returned to the scene. He was not injured. The Austin Police Department traffic investigators questioned him. No charges have been filed in connection with this fatal workplace accident.

The Texas Department of Transportation contracted J. Lee Milligan to handle the hot-mix work in the Amarillo area. A statement from TxDOT officials asked for prayers for the families of the deceased and for those injured in this tragic accident.

The hitch hardware that fell off of the pickup truck, causing the trailer to break loose, was recovered by traffic investigators. Speed was not considered to be a factor.

–Guest Contributor


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A Contractor Worker Dies at a Brewery in Shiner, Texas

Posted on June 7th, 2017

Old portion of brewery

Old portion of brewery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, in Shiner, Texas, Daniel Innocenti died while working as a contractor at Spoetzl Brewery. The details leading to 50-year-old Innocenti’s death are unclear. Shiner Police Chief Ronald Leck said the man had been at the rear of the brewery working with a power drill shortly before he was discovered not breathing, lying on the floor. Leck said Innocenti had worked there for years. An autopsy will be conducted, since no one witnessed the fatality.

There are many potential dangers in workplaces. Although there is no information regarding what may have occurred in this case, one potential consideration will probably be an electrical issue. Working with a power drill could potentially expose someone to an electrical accident.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) always conducts investigations following a workplace fatality. Any companies involved in a workplace death are investigated, as signs of workplace dangers are identified. OSHA also provides safety guidelines that apply to all workplaces, and employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment to all workers.

There are many fatal electrical accidents every year. OSHA provides safety guidelines, such as the following:

  • Never operate equipment powered by electricity while standing in water.
  • Always use caution when working near electricity.
  • Never repair electrical equipment or electrical cords unless you are authorized and qualified.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead wires during work activities, including during cleanup.
  • When working in damp locations, inspect electric equipment and electrical cords before use, to ensure that they are free of defects.

–Guest Contributor

 


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1 Dies and 2 Workers are Injured in an Electrical Incident in Sherman, Texas

Posted on May 31st, 2017

English: L6 D Electricity transmission tower, ...

English: L6 D Electricity transmission tower, near Aust, England, UK. Deutsch: L6 D Elektrizitäts-Freileitungsmast in der Nähe der englischen Stadt Aust Français : Pylône électrique de modèle L6 D près de Aust, en Angleterre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tragedy occurred in Sherman, Texas, on May 3, 2017, as workers at a Sherman apartment complex were lifting a flag pole. The flag pole fell onto a power line at about 9:30 a.m. Three workers were hit with a jolt of electricity. Kiley Russell was transported to Wilson N Jones Hospital, and he died from his injuries. Jackson Wells and Devin Schares are the other two workers, and they were transported to a hospital burn unit in Plano. They were both last reported to be in critical condition.

According to officials, wind caught the flag pole as the three men were trying to lift it from the ground; and that’s why it fell and hit the power line.

Power lines pose a threat to workers in a wide range of circumstances. In this tragic electrical accident in Sherman, it’s possible that a potential problem with the power line had not been given serious consideration. It was an unexpected turn of events that led to tragedy. Special care always needs to be taken, however, when the possibility of contact with electricity exists.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides numerous guidelines related to electrical hazards. Workers in construction are especially at risk for dangerous exposure to electricity. OSHA’s basic electrical safety guidelines include the following:

  • Assume that all overhead wires are energized with electricity at lethal voltages.
  • Never touch a fallen overhead power line.
  • If an overhead wire falls across your automobile while you’re driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the power line or wire. If your engine stalls, do not touch your vehicle or the wire. Call the local electric company or ask someone else to do it.

–Guest Contributor


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Work Injury Attorney Dallas – Extreme Heat in Summer Demands Safety Steps for Texas Employers

Posted on May 25th, 2017

English: HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 11)--The Port of...

English: HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 11)–The Port of Houston, the busiest in the nation in terms of foreign tonnage, is accessed by a 54-mile long ship channel. In an average day more than 700 vessel transit the channel. Here, a ship passes under the Fred Hartman bridge on the Houston ship channel, December 11. USCG photo by PA2 James Dillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All year around, employers have a responsibility to provide workers with a safe workplace environment. When a job involves outdoor work in summer, extreme caution is necessary. Heat-related injuries and fatalities occur every year, though they are virtually always considered preventable. Texas employers will hopefully avoid placing workers in circumstances that allegedly took the life of a 59-year-old man in 2015 in Houston, Texas. The man had been hired for the day to sort aluminum cans, but the heat was excessive. According to OSHA area director Joann Figueroa, the man died of heat illness at a recycling company based in Houston. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been waging annual campaigns to prevent heat illness and heat-related fatalities among outdoor workers. The following information regarding heat stress is from OSHA.

Why is heat hazardous to workers?

In a hot environment, the body must get rid of excess heat, in order to maintain a stable internal temperature. Sweating and circulating blood to the skin are the main ways the body does this. If the air temperature is too close to or warmer than normal body temperature, however, it becomes more difficult to cool the body. The blood that is circulated to the skin can’t lose the extra heat. Sweating is only effective if the humidity level is low enough to allow for evaporation and if salts and fluids that are lost in the heat are replaced adequately.

If the body is unable to get rid of excess heat, it begins storing it. This causes the heart rate to increase and the core temperature to rise. A person in this condition will begin having trouble concentrating and focusing on tasks. He or she may become sick or irritable. The desire to drink is often lost. There are various other symptoms, including fainting. If a person isn’t cooled in time, death can occur.

–Guest Contributor


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