Text Us 24/7!

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 ‘Austin’

A Construction Contractor in Southeast Austin is Crushed by a Concrete Slab

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On the morning of Wednesday, August 9, 2017, in Southeast Austin, a construction worker was crushed when a concrete slab fell on him. Emergency crews went to the scene. Firefighters used drills, sledgehammers, and other tools to try to free the man from underneath the 30,000- to 40,000-pound concrete slab. They finally reached the worker, but he was already deceased and was pronounced dead at 10:01 am.

According to Division Chief Palmer Buck of the Austin Fire Department, the preformed concrete panel was going to be used for a parking garage that was being built. It wasn’t known at the time the fatal workplace accident occurred how the worker became trapped underneath the concrete slab.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an investigation, as it does anytime there is an on-the-job fatality. Conclusions and news of any proposed penalties for alleged safety violations are usually published several months after an OSHA inspection.

According to OSHA statistics, every year, more than 4,500 workers die in the workplace.  The following are a few of many details from the 2015 OSHA report on fatal occupational injuries by industry, event, or exposure:

  • The total number of workplace fatalities in the U.S. in 2015 was 4,836.
  • The total number of fatalities in the construction industry was 937.
  • In the construction of buildings, 175 workers died.
  • Total number of roofing contractors that died was 87.
  • A total of 167 building equipment contractors suffered fatal on-the-job injuries.
  • In the manufacturing industry, 353 workers died.
  • In the utilities industry, 221 people were fatally injured.

Employers have a duty to keep workers safe on the job. OSHA provides detailed safety guidelines on countless workplace activities. Construction is one of the most hazardous industries to work in.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,

An On-Duty Texas Police Officer is Struck by an Alleged Drunk Driver

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On July 7, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas, Officer Matt Lesell was on the side of a Texas highway, having pulled over a vehicle at about 3 a.m. As he was walking up to the car, his dash cam video shows that a car crashed into him and the other vehicle. Lesell survived the crash. He can be seen walking away from the crash scene, though hobbled. The officer is hoping to use his experience as a way to highlight the hazards of drunk driving.

Lesell pointed out that Texas has a law called “Slow Down and Move Over.” Motorists are required by law to slow down when they are going to drive past transportation workers and police, fire, and emergency vehicles on the side of the road. This information is found on the website of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Employers have a duty to ensure that workers have a safe workplace environment. Texas laws obviously attempt to make things safer for police officers and those in emergency services. Another related law is that fines in construction zones are doubled, when drivers violate the speed limit or other laws.

A similar incident happened to Houston, Texas, police officers in July. They were investigating a possible incident involving driving while intoxicated (DWI). Another vehicle came along as they were investigating, and the car veered toward them. Firefighters screamed out warnings to the police officers. Both of the police officers ultimately fell over the ledge of the freeway, which was about a 20-foot drop. The officers landed in a grass area; neither had broken bones from falling.

All motorists have a responsibility to keep others safe in roadway work places. Police officers are often put at risk, since their workplace is often the side of a road.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,

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


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,,

Two Companies Face $120,000 in OSHA Fines Related to an Alleyton, Texas, Worksite – Part 2

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

English: Cross scaffolds. The Cross in Beith w...

English: Cross scaffolds. The Cross in Beith wearing a scaffold during the refurbishment with ( partial ) lottery money. (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.

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

According to OSHA investigators, on or about January 13, 2016, and at times prior, two workers performed cutting and welding operations from a mobile tubular welded scaffold that had not been erected by a competent person. Because the tubular welded frame scaffolds were allegedly erected by personnel who were not experienced or competent for the job, the workers were in danger of falling about 8 feet 6 inches to the floor below. In addition, the scaffold was allegedly not fully planked and the planks that were there were not secured. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $3,000.

OSHA investigators allege that two employees were exposed to fire and/or explosion hazards on or about January 13, 2016, because they were working in the maintenance shop where a gas heater, open flame was being used about 3 to 6 feet from a flammable solvent tank. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $4,000.

See more about OSHA violations allegedly made by two employers in connection with an Alleyton, Texas, worksite in Part 1 and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,,

Attorney Work Accident – A Lubbock, TX, Company Faces $50,400 in Proposed OSHA Penalties – Part 5

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Lubbock High School, Lubbock, Texas

Lubbock High School, Lubbock, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected Breedlove Foods Inc. in Lubbock, Texas, on October 16, 2015, after an employee’s hand was amputated by a feed auger as the worker was cleaning in and around the operating machine. As a result of the investigation, OSHA cited Breedlove for 12 alleged serious violations for a total of $50,400 in proposed penalties.

The following is information about the ninth and tenth alleged serious OSHA violations against Breedlove:

OSHA alleges that the employer failed to provide training to ensure that the employees understood the purpose and function of the energy control program and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe usage, application, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees. More specifically, on or about October 15, 2015, the employer allegedly failed to provide training on a lockout/tag out program to ensure that all required elements of the program were understood by all authorized employees whose work operations were or might be in an area where energy control procedures are utilized. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious OSHA violation is: $4,900.

One or more methods of machine guarding were allegedly not provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by ingoing nip points, rotating parts, point of operation, sparks, and flying chips. More specifically, the employer allegedly failed to ensure that the guarding was provided to prevent worker contact with moving parts in the Potato Receiving Area and the Dry Room at the following locations:

  • The shaft on the corner of the inspection table;
  • The hopper motor;
  • Bin infeed roller conveyor located outside in the potato receiving station; and
  • The surge inclines belts.

The proposed penalty for this alleged serious OSHA violation is: $4,200.

In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this continuing series, learn more about the alleged serious violations for which Breedlove of Lubbock has been penalized by OSHA.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Fall Injury Attorney Texas – Worker’s Memorial Day 2016 Involves Controversy Among Rail Workers – Part 7

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Trump Tower in Chicago, under construction

Trump Tower in Chicago, under construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day is observed in the U.S. It is a time to give recognition to workers who suffered or died as a result of exposure to workplace hazards.

Although Texas consistently has the most construction injuries and fatalities each year, the industry is dangerous throughout the nation. The following are national-level construction workplace accident statistics:

  • Among all of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, which are provided for every industry, fall protection standards are the ones violated most frequently.
  • Among all construction workplace injuries, 60% of them involve a worker in his or her first year of employment in construction.
  • Each year, 1 in 10 construction workers suffer at least one injury.
  • Of all lead poisoning incidents in the U.S. 15% of them involve construction workers.
  • If a construction worker is in the industry for 45 years, there is a 1-in-200 chance that he or she will die in a workplace accident.

OSHA has done a lot to reduce the number of workplace fatalities that occur in the U.S. In 1970, the year the Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted by Congress, approximately 38 workers died each day. That number was reduced to 13 per day by 2011. Workplace fatalities have declined by more than 65% since the inception of OSHA.

Not only does compliance with OSHA and taking other safety measures save lives, it also saves money for businesses. Through the years, OSHA has added appropriate penalties against employers who fail to make employee safety a priority. Sometimes those penalties are increased. Protecting workers from potentially fatal hazards should be the top priority for every employer.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this seven-part series.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,,

OSHA Cites 5 Texas Companies for Alleged Asbestos Hazards –Part 14

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Asbestos

Asbestos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a March 22, 2016, news release, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that five Texas companies are facing a total of $185,000 in penalties for allegedly failing to protect workers from asbestos and other hazards. The multi-family rental property that OSHA inspected and that led to these citations is in San Antonio, Texas, at One Eleven Park Avenue. The companies that have been cited are: One Eighty Construction Inc.; Varco Builders of Texas; Roscoe Properties Inc.; Colors Unlimited; and One Eleven Park. Local developer Jason Berkowitz is the owner of both One Eighty Construction and Roscoe. The latter is a commercial real estate management firm and has 50-plus properties in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

The National Cancer Institute provides information and insight into the health hazards of asbestos.

Tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air when products that contain asbestos are disturbed. If these fibers are breathed in, they can become lodged in the lungs. When the fibers accumulate over time, the result is often inflammation and scarring of the lungs, which can lead to other serious health problems.

Asbestos is a carcinogen, which means that it causes cancer. There can be an increased risk of mesothelioma and lung cancer, as a result of asbestos exposure. Other serious health effects of asbestos include: An elevated risk for cancer of the esophagus, kidney, gallbladder, and throat; and colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers.

Learn more about these citations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, and Part 13 of this ongoing series. Learn about asbestosis in this next segment.

–Guest Contributor

 


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Work Injury Lawyer for El Paso – OSHA Cites 5 Texas Companies for Alleged Asbestos Hazards –Part 12

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Asbestos mask

Asbestos mask (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a March 22, 2016, news release, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that five Texas companies are facing a total of $185,000 in penalties for allegedly failing to protect workers from asbestos and other hazards. The multi-family rental property that OSHA inspected and that led to these citations is in San Antonio, Texas, at One Eleven Park Avenue. The companies that have been cited are: One Eighty Construction Inc.; Varco Builders of Texas; Roscoe Properties Inc.; Colors Unlimited; and One Eleven Park. Local developer Jason Berkowitz is the owner of both One Eighty Construction and Roscoe. The latter is a commercial real estate management firm and has 50-plus properties in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Details about one more alleged serious OSHA violation issued to Colors Unlimited follow:

Asbestos scrap, debris, waste, containers, equipment, bags, and contaminated clothing consigned for disposal were not collected and disposed of in impermeable, labeled, and sealed bags or other closed, impermeable, and labeled containers. More specifically, on or about October 13, 2015, on the north side of the apartment complex, workers were exposed to respiratory hazards of disposing of asbestos containing material in a non-sealed container (construction rolloff). The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $2,800.

Details about the one alleged serious OSHA violation issued to One Eleven Park LLC follow:

The facility owner and/or building owner allegedly failed to notify all employers and employees who worked within or adjacent to the areas containing asbestos containing materials (ACM) and presumed asbestos containing materials regarding the presence, location, and quantity. More specifically, on or about October 13, 2015, One Eleven Park, LLC allegedly failed to notify employers of workers of the presence, quantity, and location of asbestos containing floor tile and mastic at the One Eleven Park Avenue Apartments. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $2,800.

Learn more about these citations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, and Part 11 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

OSHA Cites 5 Texas Companies for Alleged Asbestos Hazards –Part 7

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

English: Amli on 2nd apartments in Austin, Texas

English: Amli on 2nd apartments in Austin, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a March 22, 2016, news release, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that five Texas companies are facing a total of $185,000 in penalties for allegedly failing to protect workers from asbestos and other hazards. The multi-family rental property that OSHA inspected and that led to these citations is in San Antonio, Texas, at One Eleven Park Avenue. The companies that have been cited are: One Eighty Construction Inc.; Varco Builders of Texas; Roscoe Properties Inc.; Colors Unlimited; and One Eleven Park. Local developer Jason Berkowitz is the owner of both One Eighty Construction and Roscoe. The latter is a commercial real estate management firm and has 50-plus properties in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Details about another citation for an alleged serious violation issued to Varco Builders of Texas, LLC., dba Varco Renovations follows:

OSHA alleges that receptacles, rosettes, lamps, lampholders, or fixtures had live parts routinely exposed to worker contact. More specifically, on or about October 1, 2015, and at times prior, workers were exposed to electrical shock hazards while they were switching lights off and on and plugging into receptacles that had faceplates and/or covers removed. This violation was observed in the following rooms of the apartment building: 101, 102, 105, 106, 107, 109, 202, and 203.

The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $3,080.

Learn more about these citations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

OSHA Cites 5 Texas Companies for Alleged Asbestos Hazards –Part 6

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

English: Fort Worth Skyline

English: Fort Worth Skyline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a March 22, 2016, news release, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that five Texas companies are facing a total of $185,000 in penalties for allegedly failing to protect workers from asbestos and other hazards. The multi-family rental property that OSHA inspected and that led to these citations is in San Antonio, Texas, at One Eleven Park Avenue. The companies that have been cited are: One Eighty Construction Inc.; Varco Builders of Texas; Roscoe Properties Inc.; Colors Unlimited; and One Eleven Park. Local developer Jason Berkowitz is the owner of both One Eighty Construction and Roscoe. The latter is a commercial real estate management firm and has 50-plus properties in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Details about the citation for an alleged serious violation issued to Varco Builders of Texas, LLC., dba Varco Renovations follow:

OSHA alleges that live parts of electric equipment operating at 50 volts or more were not guarded against accidental contact by enclosures such as cabinets nor by any of the means listed in OSHA requirements. Employees were exposed to the potential work injury of electrical shock.

More specifically, on or about October 1, 2015, and at times prior, while employees were renovating Room 112 and having the electrical feeder panel unguarded with exposed live electrical conductors and were exposed to electrical shock hazards of 220volts/20 amperes.

The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $3,080.

Learn more about these citations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,