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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 ‘All rights reserved’

Dallas Work Accident Lawyer – A Vinyl Floor Manufacturer Faces $514,236 in OSHA Penalties Following 2 Workplace Injury Incidents

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

English: Buildings on the eastern side of the ...

English: Buildings on the eastern side of the 100 block of N. Main Street (State Route 18) on the Seneca County side of Fostoria, Ohio, . These buildings are part of the , a historic district that is listed on the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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A Female Construction Worker is San Antonio Crushed by a Backhoe

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

A CONSTRUCTION WORKER DRILLS THROUGH SOLID ROC...

A CONSTRUCTION WORKER DRILLS THROUGH SOLID ROCK ALONG ESCOWEE STREET ON THE BANK OF THE CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER PRIOR TO… – NARA – 557735 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 19-year-old woman was killed at a construction site in San Antonio, Texas, when the bucket of a backhoe was dropped on top of her. The shocking workplace fatality occurred on the morning of Monday, January 23, 2017. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the foreman who was driving the backhoe and said he didn’t see the woman was hospitalized, most likely for shock, according to Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Roger Pedraza.

The deceased was a construction worker at the construction site, which is on Potranco Road in the 13700 block. Police were called at about 10:30 am and reported that the woman had been crushed to death by the backhoe.

At least two dozen members of the accident victims’ family went to the site. According to one of the victim’s siblings, her sister had been injured at the construction site the previous week. Allegedly, the same backhoe operator knocked her in the leg with the machine, giving her a bruise about the size of a grapefruit. The sibling also claimed that her sister had complained about lack of adherence to safety guidelines on the worksite.

A construction worker at the scene who has been at the site for about a month alleged that the same foreman involved in this deadly accident was frequently careless on the job, resulting in a lot of broken pipes.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace environment. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be conducting an investigation, prompted by this tragedy. If the employer is found to be in violation of safety guidelines, the company will be cited and will face proposed penalties. OSHA penalties have just been increased for the first time in a quarter century. The new amounts have the potential to seriously impact small businesses, which will hopefully serve to motivate employers to improve worker safety procedures. This tragic construction fatality in San Antonio was allegedly a senseless, preventable act.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA Cites a Navasota, Texas, Company for Hearing Hazards & More

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

English: The Frances Perkins Building of the U...

English: The Frances Perkins Building of the U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(See Part 1 of this 2-part series.)

A follow-up inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was initiated on August 24, 2016, resulting in eight alleged serious violations and two alleged repeat violations against ST Feed Mill in Navasota, Texas. Total proposed penalties amount to $91,911.

One of the alleged serious violations committed by ST Feed Mill is failing to administer an effective, ongoing hearing conservation program. Employers are not to be exposed to noise exposures that equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average sound level of 85 decibels measured on the A scale or equivalently a dose of 50%. More specifically, a pellet mill operator was allegedly exposed to continuous noise levels at 78.6% of the permissible daily dose exposure or an equivalent sound level of approximately 88.2 dBA during the 400-minute sampling period on 8-25-16. Included in the exposure calculations is a zero increment for the 80 minutes not sampled. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $9,603.

Another alleged serious violation was that one or more methods of machine guarding was not provided to protect the operator and other workers in the machine area from hazards such as those created by rotating parts, flying chips and sparks, ingoing nip points, and point of operation. More specifically, on or about August 24, 2016, employees in the bagging area were exposed to struck-by hazards when operating a robot that was stacking animal feed bags on pellets without barrier guarding surrounding the entire operating envelope of the robotic arm. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $6,859.

–Guest Contributor


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A Navasota, Texas, Company faces $91,911 in Proposed OSHA Penalties

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

English: Feed Mill in Canton PA

English: Feed Mill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A follow-up inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was initiated on August 24, 2016, resulting in eight alleged serious violations and two alleged repeat violations against ST Feed Mill in Navasota, Texas. The company does business as Thomas Moore Feed. According to the OSHA area director for the Houston North office, Joann Figueroa, the type of negligence that was allegedly discovered can lead to serious injuries or workplace fatalities. She said that workers have been exposed to such serious hazards as combustible grain dust and unguarded machinery. Total proposed penalties amount to $91,911.

Details about some of the alleged serious OSHA violations follow:

OSHA investigators allege that workers were exposed to fire hazards, deflagration, and dust explosion caused by equipment used to process animal feed. Specifically, it is alleged that workers outside the commodity barn were exposed to fire hazards and deflagration from the explosion vents of the dust collector because protection from the fireball path was not provided. Also outside the commodity barn, workers were exposed to the same hazards when the cyclone of the hammer mill was not protected from explosion hazards. The total proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $9,603.

Employees accessing a platform for cleaning and adjustments were allegedly exposed to a fall hazard greater than 4 feet near the bird seed bagging platform because there was no railing or an equivalent surrounding the entire side of the platform. The total proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $6,859.

–Guest Contributor


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Tips on Promoting Workplace Safety and Preventing On-the-job Injuries in Texas

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Workers dismantling a construction crane

Workers dismantling a construction crane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Employers have a responsibility to protect employees from workplace injuries by providing a safe work environment. Injuries occur in the workplace every day, from offices and factories to construction sites and more. Safety should be a top consideration for employers as well as workers because it is costly for everyone, not just injured parties, when an injury accident occurs.

A comprehensive strategy is the best way to prevent accidents from occurring in the workplace. The first step is to ensure compliance with industry requirements. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources for every industry, and direct assistance is available. OSHA offers a confidential on-site consultation at no charge, to ensure that workers are being provided with a safe workplace environment.

Other strategies for creating a safe work environment follow:

  • Engage workers in the topic of workplace safety. No one is more familiar with the dangers workers face than the workers themselves. Encouraging conversation on the topic can bring safety concerns to light so that they can be appropriately addressed.
  • Cultivating a culture of safety promotes worker health, and ways to promote safety should be continually sought.
  • Implementing worker health initiatives is a proactive way to reduce occurrences of injury and illness. Encouraging workers with sedentary jobs to be active during breaks, offering healthy food options, and providing opportunities to engage in healthy activities outside of the workplace setting can all promote health.

Another way to promote safety is to raise awareness about the most common types of injuries and take necessary steps to help prevent them. The following are top workplace injuries:

  • Repetitive motion injuries caused by such daily activities as typing or entering data on computers or any other activity in which the same motions are continuously made on the job.
  • Entanglement in machinery is a threat in factories and can lead to amputation injuries and death.
  • Auto accidents on the job are the causes of common workplace injuries among those whose employment involves driving.
  • Falling objects are common hazards in construction settings, which is why hard hats are standard safety equipment.
  • Falling from heights and tripping and falling are hazards in various workplace environments
  • The number one cause of injuries is overexertion, which is usually related to on-the-job lifting, pushing, holding carrying, and throwing activities.

–Guest Contributor


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Two Companies Face $120,000 in OSHA Fines Related to an Alleyton, Texas, Worksite

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Pallets

Pallets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a result of a complaint alleging the working conditions were unsafe at a worksite in Alleyton, Texas, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office in Austin conducted a January 13, 2016, inspection. As a result of the investigation into the status of working conditions, Exterran Energy Solutions LP faces $111,000 in proposed penalties. In addition, South Texas Welders LLC, labor broker, faces $9,800 in penalties. Exterran Energy has been cited for two alleged repeat violations, 23 alleged serious violations, and four alleged other-than-serious violations. South Texas Specialty Welders has been cited for four alleged serious violations.

OSHA’s area director in Austin, R. Casey Perkins, said Exterran has been complacent about health and safety practices. He expressed relief that employers have been put on notice prior to the report of any serious injuries.

The following is information about serious violations that Exterran allegedly committed:

On or about January 13, 2016, and at times prior, OSHA alleges that the employer exposed employees to the hazard of being struck by falling racks and materials because damaged warehouse pallet rack systems were utilized and accessed to store materials weighing up to about 3,000 pounds per overhead shelf. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $7,000.

OSHA alleges that on the same date referenced above, employees were more than four feet above ground level on loading docks without guard railing in place, which allegedly exposed workers to the hazard of falling more than 4 feet to the ground below.

See more about OSHA violations allegedly made by two employers in connection with an Alleyton, Texas, worksite in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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At a Cleburne, Texas, Site, a Company Faces OSHA Fines Following an Amputation Injury – Part 2

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

English: The Joiner-Long House located at 604 ...

English: The Joiner-Long House located at 604 Prairie Av, Cleburne, Texas, United States. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 23, 2003. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On February 11, 2016, an inspection of Johns Manville in Cleburne, Texas, was done by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The inspection was done as a result of reports of a work accident in which an employee’s hand was severed in the Johns Manville manufacturing facility in Cleburne. The employee was trying to clear a jam in a machine when the amputation injury occurred. OSHA investigators have issued citations for three serious violations and two repeat violations. The total in proposed penalties is $49,600.

The following is information about an alleged serious OSHA violation committed by the employer:

OSHA alleges that the employer failed to ensure that periodic inspections were reviewed with every authorized employee in order to determine whether proper procedures were being followed. Allegedly, workers who were operating the Re-feed systems were exposed to amputation hazards. The proposed penalty for this alleged OSHA violation is: $7,000.

The following is information about an alleged repeat OSHA violation committed by the employer:

Investigators for OSHA allege that workers operating the Re-feed systems were not properly trained in the recognition of hazards associated with failing to isolate energy sources on the horizontal electrical rotary machine unit, which exposed them to amputation hazards. Also, on the North and South Re-feed systems, workers were allegedly exposed to being caught in the unguarded nip points on the conveyors. There was a similar citation given to the employer with a final order on March 5, 2013. The proposed penalty for this alleged repeat OSHA violation is: $15,400.

See Part 1 of this two-part series to learn more about the alleged OSHA violations that Johns Manville has been cited for.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA’s Fort Worth Office Cites a Steel Fabricator & Proposes $53,200 in Penalties – Part 3

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

English: Sparks from a grinder Deutsch: Funken...

English: Sparks from a grinder Deutsch: Funken eines Winkelschleifers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inspection of K-T Galvanizing Company by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began on February 23, 2016. Results of those findings were released on June 17. The inspection was instigated as part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Fabricated Metals. Investigators allege that the Venus, Texas, steel fabricator company committed 13 serious violations. The total in proposed penalties is $53,200. Jack A. Rector, Fort Worth OSHA Area Director, said the company failed to follow safety procedures and also failed to provide essential training to employees about dangers in the workplace that daily exposed them to hazardous conditions and an unsafe work environment.

The following is information about alleged OSHA violations for which proposed penalties have been imposed against K-T Galvanizing Company:

OSHA alleges that powered industrial trucks that were defective, in need of repair, or in other ways unsafe had not been removed from service until such time as they were restored to safe operating conditions. More specifically, investigators allege that forklifts being used throughout the product area did not have seatbelts or the seatbelts were defective, which exposed workers to crushed-by and/or struck-by hazards. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $4,900.

OSHA investigators allege that work rests on grinding machinery were not adjusted closely to the wheel with a maximum opening of one-eight inch, as required by OSHA standards. Further, workers in the production area allegedly operated a Performance Tool 6-inch grinder that did not have work rests attached, which exposed employees to struck-by hazards. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation that exposed employees to work injuries is: $4,900.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series, learn more about the hazards involved with these alleged serious OSHA violations.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA’s Fort Worth Office Cites a Steel Fabricator & Proposes $53,200 in Penalties

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

English: Forklift truck Português: Empilhadeira

English: Forklift truck Português: Empilhadeira (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inspection of K-T Galvanizing Company by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began on February 23, 2016. Results of those findings were released on June 17. The inspection was instigated as part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Fabricated Metals. Investigators allege that the Venus, Texas, steel fabricator company committed 13 serious violations. The total in proposed penalties is $53,200. Jack A. Rector, Fort Worth OSHA Area Director, said the company failed to follow safety procedures and also failed to provide essential training to employees about dangers in the workplace that daily exposed them to hazardous conditions and an unsafe work environment.

The following is a brief explanation of the alleged serious violations. K-T Galvanizing Company allegedly:

  • Failed to establish a written hearing conservation program.
  • Failed to conduct a hazard assessment.
  • Failed to establish a hazard communication program.
  • Failed to evaluate permit-required confined spaces.
  • Did not have safety latches on hooks.
  • Had no functional seatbelts on forklifts.
  • Failed to include legible manufacturer name plates and safety decals on forklifts.
  • Did not have forklift training that was conducted by a qualified person.
  • Did not remove forklifts with safety issues from service nor have needed repairs made before placing them back in service.
  • Did not inspect forklifts for safety before using them.
  • Did not have a tongue guard and work rest on a bench grinder.
  • Violated several electrical safety requirements.

In this continuing series, learn more about the hazards involved with these alleged serious OSHA violations.

–Guest Contributor


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A Houston, Texas, Company Faces $172,000 in Proposed OSHA Penalties – Part 3

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Liquid nitrogen tank for storing samples. Rack...

Liquid nitrogen tank for storing samples. Racks with samples (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an inspection at Alfa Laval Inc. in Houston, Texas, in October 2015 as a result of a complaint. On April 12, 2016, OSHA released their investigative findings and says they allegedly found eight serious violations, three repeat violations, and two other-than-serious violations. The total proposed penalties against the global manufacturer of technologies in heat transfer, separation, and fluid handling amount to $172,000. According to Joann Figueroa, OSHA’s area director in the Houston North office, Alfa Laval has a duty to identify and repair hazards in the workplace that put employees at risk. She points out that if employees work on a machine that does not have safety guards, they can lose a limb or their life.

The following are details about alleged serious violations for which Alfa Laval has been cited by OSHA:

OSHA alleges that the employer failed to ensure that each container of hazardous chemicals in the workplace was marked, tagged, or labeled with the identity of the dangerous chemicals contained therein. More specifically, on or about October 27, 2015, workers in Building A were allegedly exposed to fire and chemical hazards while using penetrating oil and a cutting lubricant in spray bottles, without any type of label or markings as to the identity of the chemicals.

Or, in the alternative:

The employer allegedly failed to ensure that each container of dangerous chemicals in the workplace was marked, tagged, or labeled with the product identifier and pictures, symbols, words, or a combination thereof which provided at least general information regarding the dangers of the chemicals and which, in conjunction with other information immediately available to workers under the hazard communication program, would provide workers with the specific information regarding the health and physical hazards of the dangerous chemical.

The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $5,500.

Learn more about alleged OSHA violations and penalties against Alfa Laval in Part 1, Part 2, and this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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