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 ‘Background check’

Work Accident Attorney Fort Worth – OSHA Increases Maximum Penalties against Employers for Alleged Safety Violations

Friday, January 19th, 2018

English: Logo for the United States Occupation...

English: Logo for the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency that enforces federal health and safety requirements in the workplace. Inspectors investigate employee complaints and visit companies after serious or fatal illnesses or injuries have occurred. The inspectors impose proposed penalties for the different kinds of violations. On January 2, 2018, the Department of Labor announced an increase in the maximum penalty amounts for violating OSHA safety regulations and standards.

The following are DOL Penalties, before and after the latest changes:

  • The maximum penalty allowed for “serious” and “other-than-serious” is now $12,934. Previously, it was $12,615.
  • The penalty for repeated or willful violation of child labor standards that result in the death or serious injury of a minor changed from a maximum of $111,616 to a maximum of $113,894.
  • The per violation penalty of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act rose from $20,111 to $20,521.
  • There was a very small increase in per willful violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act’s posting requirement, from $166 to $169.
  • The maximum fine for repeated or willful violations is $129,336, up from $126,749. In 2016, much more significant changes were made. For example, the willful or repeated violation maximum penalty rose from $70,000 to $124,709.

The maximum fines are not always imposed. Employers in small businesses typically get a size discount. Employers with a record of prior compliance with OSHA receive a reduction for their good history. Businesses that are cooperative during OSHA inspections also get credit, for acting in good faith. Maximum penalties are more likely imposed against a large employer when a fatality has a occurred or as a result of a history of OSHA safety violations.

–Guest Contributor


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

Texas Injury Attorney – Worker Denied Requested Safety Gear and Falls; Katy, TX, Company Fined $362,500 – Part 6

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

English: Building construction in Riga in 2010.

English: Building construction in Riga in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited alleged safety violations against Cotton Commercial USA Inc. of Katy, Texas, and Gardia Construction, located in Gretna, Louisiana. The inspection and citations were the direct result of a construction fall injury that occurred on January 24, 2015, in which the worker suffered fractured arms and severe contusions.

Personal Fall Arrest Systems

OSHA provides details about safety procedures, including specifics on how to use equipment. Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFASs) are among the types of safety equipment to be used in construction jobs to protect workers from falls. A PFAS is used to safely stop (or arrest) an employee in the event he or she falls from a working level. The device consists of an anchorage, connectors, and a body harness. Other possible components can include a lanyard, lifeline, deceleration device, and suitable combinations. Safety belts are prohibited from being used as part of a PFAS.

When employers choose to use a PFAS as a means of employee fall protection, they must:

  • Limit the maximum stopping force on a worker to 1,800 pounds when used with a body harness.
  • Be rigged so that an employee can neither free fall further than 6 feet nor contact a lower level.
  • Bring an employee to a full stop and limit the maximum deceleration distance a worker travels to 3.5 feet.
  • Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of an employee free-falling 6 feet or the free fall distance the system permits, whichever is less.

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and this continuing series for more details about the citations made against Cotton Commercial and Gardia Construction for alleged safety violations, more information about fall hazards on construction jobs, and specifics about OSHA safety guidelines regarding Safety Monitoring Systems.

–Guest Contributor


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

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


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

Accident Attorney: A Pasadena, Texas, Construction Company is Fined by OSHA for Alleged Safety Violations – Part 5

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

English: Coventry Climax forklift truck

English: Coventry Climax forklift truck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forklifts

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are about 95,000 injuries and 100 worker fatalities associated with forklifts every year. Many of the fatalities involve a forklift that gets overturned. The following are among the solutions provided which can help to prevent forklift accidents at construction sites:

  • Employees under 18 years old should not be allowed to operate a forklift.
  • All forklift operators must be trained as well as certified, to ensure safe operation of the vehicle.
  • Before using a forklift, it should be examined for defects.
  • A forklift should never travel faster than 5 miles per hour. Drive slower when the surface is slippery or the area is congested.
  • Operators must always wear seatbelts.
  • Whenever possible, avoid traveling in a forklift with an elevated load.
  • Drive only when the protective structure to guard against injuries in a rollover is in place.
  • Be sure the reverse signal alarm on the forklift can be heard amidst the other surrounding noises.
  • Loads should be picked up, moved, put down, and stacked according to the forklift manufacturer’s instructions.
  • All haulage equipment must be properly maintained, which includes ensuring that the tires are properly inflated.
  • A forklift must not be modified nor attachments added that affect its safe operation or capacity, unless there has been prior approval supplied in writing from the manufacturer of the forklift.

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this continuing series to learn more about construction hazards in Texas, the leader in construction workplace fatalities every year.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Nail Gun Safety is a Serious Issue for Construction Workers – Part 3

Monday, January 5th, 2015

US Navy 080816-N-4515N-122 Builder 2nd Class S...

US Navy 080816-N-4515N-122 Builder 2nd Class Sean Roberts uses a nail-gun to install tongue and groove boards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to research, there are seven major risk factors related to nail gun injuries. The more workers understand about the hazards, the better able they are to prevent nail gun injuries. See the following risk factors:

  • Injuries sometimes occur when the nail is discharged before the nail gun has made full contact with the lumber or work piece. In these instances, the nail becomes airborne. Nails can also become airborne when nailing close to the edge of a work piece or when the nail goes through plywood, for instance, missing a stud.
  • When nails from nail guns strike a hard surface, the result can be a dangerous ricochet. Framing hardware and wood knots commonly cause ricochets and injuries on construction jobs. The nails that ricochet all too often strike a worker.
  • With single actuation triggers and contact triggers, the risk of injury is heightened when nailing in an awkward position. Nailing in tight quarters, nailing while using the non-dominant hand, nailing when the trajectory of the nail is toward the user, and nailing above shoulder height are all examples of awkward position nailing.
  • Disabling or bypassing safety features on nail guns can lead to serious injury. Modifying nail guns and other tools leads to on-the-job hazards.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series for more information about major risk factors and about specific nail gun injury incidents. Read about steps to achieving nail gun safety in the next segment.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Nail Gun Safety is a Serious Issue for Construction Workers – Part 2

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

English: Camp Patriot, Kuwait (Mar. 14, 2003) ...

English: Camp Patriot, Kuwait (Mar. 14, 2003) — A U.S. Navy Seabee uses a power nail gun to drive nails into a wooden support beam that will be part of a new hard shelter complex. Amphibious Construction Battalion One (ACB-1) is forward deployed building shelters for coalition forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Arlo K. Abrahamson. (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to research, there are seven major risk factors related to nail gun injuries. The more workers understand about the hazards, the better able they are to prevent nail gun injuries. See the following risk factors:

Contact trigger nail guns tend to double fire, and a related risk is unintended nail discharge from a double fire. New workers pushing hard on the nail gun in order to compensate for recoil frequently experience double fire. The dangerous incident of unintended discharge also happens when workers are in an awkward position, such as in a tight space where there is no room for recoil. The recoil on these nail guns can also hit users in the face or head, causing a non-nail injury.

With single actuation triggers and contact triggers, a danger that occurs is that the safety contact tip is accidentally pushed or knocked into a person or object while the trigger is being squeezed. In this situation, single actuation trigger nailers can release one nail that can cause injury, and contact trigger nailers can release multiple nails, causing injury.

With all types of nail guns, it’s possible for nail penetration through lumber. If, for example, a nail enters near a knot in the wood, the change in wood grain caused by the knot can result in a direction change for the nail. The nail can exit the lumber, causing injury.

Read Part 1 and this continuing series for more information about major risk factors and about specific nail gun injury incidents.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,