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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.

Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

A Contractor Worker Dies at a Brewery in Shiner, Texas

Wednesday, 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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A 43-year-old Oilfield Worker is Killed on the Job in Brazoria County, Texas

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

English: Oil well An oil rig used for training.

English: Oil well An oil rig used for training. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, a fatal workplace accident occurred in Brazoria County, Texas, south of Pearland near Highway 35 and County Road 129. A piece of equipment weighing between 2,500 and 3,500 pounds was being lifted when it broke free and fell to the ground, also striking and killing 43-year-old Antonio Perez of El Campo. The tragedy occurred at the Denbury Resources Oil Field. The oilfield worker was pronounced dead at the scene, and an investigation into the accident is ongoing.

There are certain risks associated with all work environments, and an oil field is among the more dangerous workplaces. Employers have a responsibility to workers to follow safety guidelines provided by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The following are safety hazards that are associated with oil and gas extraction activities, as identified by OSHA:

  • Machine hazards
  • Struck-by, caught-in, and caught between hazards
  • Vehicle collisions
  • Explosions and fires
  • Falls
  • Ergonomic hazards
  • Confined spaces
  • Electrical and other hazardous energy
  • High pressured lines and equipment

For each of these hazardous areas and more, OSHA provides safety guidelines. Employers have access to what they need to maximize the safety in every work environment. When companies fail to follow safety rules, there is a greater likelihood that someone will be seriously hurt or killed.

Many would argue that when it comes to hazardous machinery and equipment in the workplace, the oil and gas industry ranks first. Dangerous machines often operate in unguarded areas, which puts workers at further risk. The following are examples of operations that should be performed with great caution by competent operators:

  • Spinning chain
  • Heavy lifts and hoists
  • Traveling derrick
  • drilling
  • Loading and unloading materials

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA Proposed $104K in Fines against a San Antonio, Texas, Company

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

The San Antonio (Texas) Downtown

The San Antonio (Texas) Downtown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been since this summer that Bluebonnet Foods L.P. was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 21 alleged serious safety violations, but the citations are worth looking at. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers by providing them with a safe workplace. OSHA Area Director for San Antonio Alejandro Porter said workers at Bluebonnet Foods were exposed to health and safety hazards that should be corrected without delay before employees get hurt unnecessarily. Among the alleged serious violations were that workers were exposed to several chemical, struck-by, amputation, and electrical hazards. In addition, eyewash stations needed to be installed and personal protective equipment needed to be provided. The total in proposed penalties was: $104,000.

Bluebonnet Foods is doing business as Goodheart Specialty Foods Co., and the company employs about 300 people at the San Antonio location. Bluebonnet Foods produces grilled, fried, and slow-roasted meats, sauces and other products for the food service, retail, and food manufacturing industry under their DBA.

The following is specific information about two alleged serious OSHA violations:

Employees who were sanitizing production areas and diluting cleaning products with caustic and corrosive liquids were allegedly exposed to chemical splash hazards without adequate protective coverings such as gloves, aprons, or chemical resistant full body protection. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation was: $7,000.

Employees in the maintenance shop were allegedly exposed to a struck-by hazard as they were operating a Porter Cable drill press that did not have a chip guard. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious OSHA violation was: $4,000.

Learn about more alleged serious violations that Bluebonnet Foods was cited for in an installment of this series entitled, “San Antonio Company is Cited by OSHA for Struck-By Hazards and More.”

–Guest Contributor


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Contractor Cited by OSHA Following Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 7

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Cologne Cathedral: Construction of a new suspe...

Cologne Cathedral: Construction of a new suspended scaffold on the northern side of the northern steeple. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited SB Framing Services last week for allegedly failing to protect employees. A 32-year-old construction worker fell 19 feet from a roof on September 26, 2015, and later died. The worker was a residential framer, and he was working on the construction of a new residence when he lost his balance on the roof and fell to the ground. As a result of an investigation into the fatal workplace accident, OSHA  alleges that the tragic death was preventable and the employer failed to ensure that an appropriate fall protection system was in use. The Florida company has been cited for one willful OSHA safety violation and one serious violation.

Design of Scaffolding

Employers need to plan carefully in order to avoid the use of makeshift platforms at construction sites. Scaffolding must comply with applicable regulations. The following are some guidelines regarding scaffolding:

  • Each scaffold must be fully planked and able to support the load it is designed to carry. Scaffold planks must be secured or cleated and extend over the end precisely between 6 and 12 inches.
  • Unstable objects, such as the following, must not be used as work platforms or as support to scaffolds: Loose tile blocks, loose piles of bricks, horses, ladders, kegs, boxes, barrels, and A-frames.
  • Toeboards, midrails, and guardrails must be installed on all open sides of scaffolds that are 10 feet or more in height.
  • Where workers are required to pass or work under a scaffold, falling object protection must be provided.

The three steps which OSHA says will prevent fall fatalities are: planning to perform jobs safely, providing the correct fall protection equipment, and training workers to use equipment safely. Learn more about them and the above-referenced OSHA citations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Contractor Cited by OSHA Following Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 4

Monday, January 18th, 2016

English: Inco Ladders

English: Inco Ladders (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited SB Framing Services last week for allegedly failing to protect employees. A 32-year-old construction worker fell 19 feet from a roof on September 26, 2015, and later died. The worker was a residential framer, and he was working on the construction of a new residence when he lost his balance on the roof and fell to the ground. As a result of an investigation into the fatal workplace accident, OSHA  alleges that the tragic death was preventable and the employer failed to ensure that an appropriate fall protection system was in use. The Florida company has been cited for one willful OSHA safety violation and one serious violation.

Ladder Safety

Falls from ladders are among the most common types of falls at construction sites. The proper care and use of ladders is an important safety issue.

Ladders should always be inspected before being used. The following are faults to look for when inspecting ladders:

  • Missing or loose cleats or rungs;
  • Loose bolts, screws, or nails;
  • Splinters on wooden ladders or edges that are damaged;
  • Dented, split, broken, cracked, or worn side rails, cleats, or rungs; and
  • Corrosion of metal ladders or components.

The three steps which OSHA says will prevent fall fatalities are: planning to perform jobs safely, providing the correct fall protection equipment, and training workers to use equipment safely. Learn more about them and the above-referenced OSHA citations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Company Working in North Texas Inspected by OSHA Due to a Fatal Fall is Fined $407,400– Part 4

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

A balcony created by a cantilever slab.

A balcony created by a cantilever slab. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jorge Carrion Torres, age 44, was in Dallas, Texas, working for Phoenix-based Design Plastering Inc., Design Plastering West LLC when he fell from a third-story balcony at an apartment construction site. Torres died from his injuries. The company has since been investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is facing proposed penalties totaling $407,400 for alleged OSHA violations. According to OSHA, neither Torres nor his co-workers had been provided with personal fall protection as they were working on the third story, applying stucco underlayment to the walls of a balcony.

The third alleged serious violation that OSHA has cited Design Plastering for is that employees were not protected by protective helmets in areas where there were possible head injury hazards from electrical shock and burns, flying objects, falling objects, or impact. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $4,200. Further specifics about this alleged violation follow:

  • In section 12, workers who installed stucco underlayment to the exterior walls of balconies were not protected from head injuries that could be caused by falling objects or flying objects, which are struck-by hazards.

The fourth alleged serious violation that Design Plastering has been cited for is that employees were not provided with face and eye protection equipment when operations or machinery presented potential face or eye injuries from chemical, radiation, or physical agents. The proposed penalty for the alleged violation is: $3,500.

In Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this ongoing series, learn more about the eight egregious willful OSHA violations and four serious violations allegedly committed by Design Plastering.

–Guest Contributor


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Company Inspected by OSHA Due to a Fatal Fall in Dallas, Texas is Fined $407,400

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Dee and Charles Wyly Theater, Dallas Center fo...

Dee and Charles Wyly Theater, Dallas Center for the Performing Arts under construction, Arts District, Dallas, Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jorge Carrion Torres, age 44, was in Dallas, Texas, working for Phoenix-based Design Plastering Inc., Design Plastering West LLC when he fell from a third-story balcony at an apartment construction site. Torres died from his injuries. The company has since been investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is facing proposed penalties totaling $407,400 for alleged OSHA violations. According to OSHA, neither Torres nor his co-workers had been provided with personal fall protection as they were working on the third story, applying stucco underlayment to the walls of a balcony.

Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, said that OSHA will not tolerate employers failing to protect workers from falls and putting them in defenseless positions when they are working at a height of six feet or more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls cause more construction deaths than any other type of hazard. In 2014, falls accounted for almost 40% of all construction fatalities. Texas has more construction fatalities than any other state. Construction is a hazardous industry; one in five worker fatalities in the U.S. last year were construction fatalities.

Falls are entirely preventable. It is the responsibility of employers to provide whatever type of fall protection is appropriate for any work being done from a height of 6 feet or higher.

In this ongoing series, learn more about the alleged eight egregious willful OSHA violations and four alleged serious violations allegedly committed by Design Plastering.

–Guest Contributor

 

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=29037


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A Fireworks-Related Workplace Fatality Occurs in the Texas Panhandle

Friday, August 14th, 2015

English: Fireworks display

English: Fireworks display (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A fatal work accident occurred recently at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the Texas panhandle. Twenty-one-year-old Peyton Trueblood of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was working as an assistant stage manager for the outdoor historical musical that is performed nightly at the state park. The show includes a fireworks display. She was checking inventory in a storage shed when there was an explosion caused by two magazines containing fireworks. Trueblood was killed in the explosion, which has been referred to as a “freak accident.” A small grass fire started adjacent to the building. The blaze was quickly extinguished. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the fireworks to ignite.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides safety guidelines for employers in every industry and with regards to all known hazards, including fireworks. The following are from OSHA’s pre-display fireworks site checklist:

  • Prohibit smoking material, lighters, open flames, or matches from being within 50 feet of fireworks or any type of pyrotechnic material.
  • Only necessary personnel required to perform the fireworks display set up are allowed at the display site.
  • Wear all personal protective equipment appropriate for setup duties.
  • Avoid placing any portion of your body over mortars during wiring, igniting, or loading, and immediately after the display has been fired.
  • Establish site security prior to arrival of pyrotechnic materials.
  • Protect all pyrotechnic materials, launching equipment, and fireworks from inclement weather. Keep them dry at all times.
  • Be sure all mortar racks, bundles, pre-loaded box items, candles, mortars, ground displays, and cakes have been inspected thoroughly and deemed inherently stable.

Learn more about firework safety in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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NIOSH Provides Guidelines to Help Prevent Traffic-Related Deaths and Injuries in Texas – Part 3

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Driver in a Mitsubishi Galant using a hand hel...

Driver in a Mitsubishi Galant using a hand held mobile phone violating New York State law. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following are more of the guidelines NIOSH urges employers to include in their written policies and procedures:

  • Guidelines for prevention of distracted driving follow:
    • Ban texting while driving.
    • Ban the use of hand-held devices while driving, including hand-held phones, GPS devices, and tablets.
    • Consider banning or restricting hands-free phones because telephone conversations naturally divert attention from the primary task of driving.
  • Guidelines for the prevention of drowsy or fatigued driving follow:
    • Do not require workers to drive far beyond their normal work hours or to work irregular hours. Research shows that the most crashes associated with drowsy driving occur between midnight and 2 a.m. as well as between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Within company policies, allow drivers to nap for a half hour or less or to stop overnight if they are drowsy or fatigued while driving.
    • Provide workers with training or basic information about the importance of healthy sleep habits and strategies for staying more alert while driving.
  • Guidelines for preventing impaired driving:
    • Maintain a policy which prohibits workers from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, legal drugs, illegal drugs, or over-the-counter medications and prescriptions which affect the ability to drive safely.
    • Train workers on the potential effects of non-prescription and prescription medications on their ability to drive safely. Material on this subject may be available through the company’s health and wellness program.

Learn more about guidelines for the safety of employees who drive as part of their job in Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series.

–Guest Contributor


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A Construction Worker is Killed near the High School in Argyle, Texas

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

English: Barnsley transport interchange under ...

English: Barnsley transport interchange under construction Steel frame by Billington Structures of Barnsley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A fatal work accident occurred at a construction site in Argyle, Texas, on Thursday. A 36-year-old father of three was killed when the frame of a 46,000-square-foot building collapsed. The structure being built is an indoor athletic facility near Argyle High School. At the time of the fatal construction accident, the building consisted almost entirely of large steel support beams. The entire frame collapsed onto construction vehicles, including a crane that the deceased was in. He had been in the crane bucket approximately 30 feet in the air when the building collapsed, causing the crane to tip over, according to Mac Hohenberger, Argyle Fire Chief. Three other workers were injured in the construction accident.

Five investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) visited the site. OSHA’s goal is to determine how the tragic accident occurred in order to prevent such an incident from occurring again, according to the regional director with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Public Affairs, Diana Petterson. If OSHA standards are discovered to have been violated, citations accompanied by monetary penalties will be imposed upon the company responsible.

The company that designed the activity center said the portion of the structure that collapsed was pre-fabricated, but the reason for the collapse is not yet known.

Although no children were near the building at the time of the collapse, many were witnesses to what happened. Several high school students said that the collapse started when the steel frame began moving in every direction, and then the steel frame caved in, piling downward in a heap.

–Guest Contributor


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