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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 ‘Blunt trauma’

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


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2014 Texas Statistics show an Increase in Workplace Fatalities

Monday, October 12th, 2015

A rear dump trailer with a daycab tractor

A rear dump trailer with a daycab tractor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regulators for state workers’ compensation insurance have announced that preliminary 2014 data indicates a 3% increase in workplace fatalities in Texas. The BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) says that in 2014 there were 524 workplace fatalities; in 2014, there were 508. Across the nation, there were 4,679 fatal occupational injuries.

In 2013, the rate of workplace fatalities in Texas was 4.4 per 100,000 full-time employees. The injury rate for 2014 will be available in spring of 2016, when the final CFOI data is released.

The following are more statistics from the preliminary report for 2014:

  • The leading cause of fatal occupational injuries, accounting for 45 percent of all workplace deaths, was transportation. There were 172 fatalities associated with transportation and material moving. This reflects a 6% increase from 2013, when there were 163 incidents.
  • Of the transportation and material moving fatalities, 65 of them were tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers, with a total of 112 fatal accidents. This was a 2% increase from 2013, when there were 110.
  • The second highest number of workplace deaths, at 124, was in construction and extraction occupations. Of those, 57% or 71 were construction trades workers, which was a 12% decrease from 2013, when there were 81. About 27% involved extraction workers, at 34 fatal incidents; this was a 21% increase from 2013, when there were 28 fatal accidents.

Dr. David Michaels, who is Assistance Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, says that workplace fatalities, illnesses, and injuries are preventable. Making a living should not have to cost a worker his or her life. Employers make the choice to fulfill their responsibilities and protect employees, and that is how safe jobs happen.

–Guest Contributor


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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


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Worker Denied Requested Safety Gear and Falls; Katy, TX, Company Fined $362,500 – Part 3

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

English: New home construction in Rumson, New ...

English: New home construction in Rumson, New Jersey. (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 following are more details about the citations against Cotton Commercial resulting from Inspection Number 1022192, inspection date January 29, 2015:

OSHA alleges that the employer failed to protect workers engaged in roofing activities on low-slope roofs with edges 6 feet or more above lower levels and with unprotected sides from falling by providing safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, guardrail systems, or a combination of warning line system and safety net system, or a combination of warning line system and guardrail system, or warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or warning line system and safety monitoring system. The most recent alleged violation occurred on January 24, 2015, in addition to times prior, where the employee was on a roof approximately 12 feet in height without fall protection. The proposed penalty for this alleged wilful violation is: $70,000. This same wilful violation was cited against Cotton Commercial four times, for a total of $280,000.

The alleged violations brought against Gardia Construction in Inspection Number 1022183, inspection date January 29, 2015, follow:

The employer allegedly failed to make inspections of the jobsite, which exposed employees to fall hazards. The proposed penalty for this serious violation is: $4,900.

Read Part 1, Part 2, and this continuing series for more details about the citations made against Cotton Commercial and Gardia Construction and for information about fall hazards on construction jobs.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA Provides Examples of and Safety Tips for Workplace Caught-in or Between Hazards – Part 7

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Image composite showing a loading pallet for a...

Image composite showing a loading pallet for a crane, and showing a man operating the crane with a remote control. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides the following guidelines for employers, so that they can protect workers from caught-in or between construction hazards.

The following are tips for employers for the purpose of preventing workers from being crushed by heavy machinery or equipment that tips over:

  • All material handling equipment must be equipped with structures that prevent rollovers.
  • Seat belts are important in all motor vehicles, including earthmoving equipment and forklifts. Use of seat belts should be required. By wearing seat belts, workers can avoid being thrown from a vehicle and subsequently crushed when the vehicle or equipment tips over.
  • The best approach to protecting workers from being crushed by heavy equipment is to prevent tipping from happening in the first place. For example, there are several known situations which result in a crane tipping over. Of course, all known dangers should be avoided. Do not exceed the capacity of a crane and do not use a crane that is not on level ground or if it is on ground that is too soft. Crane conditions should always be carefully inspected by a competent person who can recognize whether the support surface is firm enough and whether the crane is capable of supporting the load.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and this continuing series for more examples of caught-in or –between hazards and safety tips. In the next segment, learn about some of the responsibilities employers have to protect workers from these types of hazards.

–Guest Contributor


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Cleburne Work Accident Lawyer: OSHA Provides Examples of and Safety Tips for Workplace Caught-in or Between Hazards – Part 6

Friday, December 5th, 2014

English: A Volvo L120E front loader עברית: יעה...

English: A Volvo L120E front loader עברית: יעה אופני מדגם L120E של וולבו (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides the following guidelines for employers, so that they can protect workers from caught-in or between construction hazards:

  • Equipment with moving parts, such as power tools, must have protective guards.
  • Equipment that has parts which workers could potentially be caught between must be secured with supports or in some other way be made safe for workers to use.
  • If there is heavy equipment that could possibly tip over, measures must be taken to prevent workers from being crushed.
  • When there is equipment near a solid structure, measures must be taken to prevent workers from being pinned between them.
  • During excavation and trenching work, workers must be protected from cave-ins.
  • Structures such as scaffolds must be built in a way that prevents their collapse.
  • During demolition and other construction activities, there must be a means for workers to avoid being crushed, such as by collapsing walls.
  • Training must be provided for workers so that they understand how to stay safe from the hazards at the job sites where they work.
  • A lock-out/tag-out system or the equivalent must be in place to ensure that equipment cannot be accidentally energized while a worker is in the process of performing maintenance or repair.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this continuing series for more examples of caught-in or –between hazards and safety tips. In the next segment, learn about some of the responsibilities employers have to protect workers from these types of hazards.

–Guest Contributor


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Construction Accident Injury Attorney Dallas: OSHA Provides Examples of and Safety Tips for Workplace Caught-in or Between Hazards – Part 5

Friday, December 5th, 2014

English: Excavation and construction at the WO...

English: Excavation and construction at the WORLD TRADE CENTER site photographed April 1968 by Ava Bianca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides the following safety tips for workers to avoid caught-in or between construction injuries. The following information is for workers to protect themselves on excavation sites.

Workers are advised never to work in an unprotected trench if it is 5 feet deep or more. The following are types of protection that can be used:

  • Shoring. Shoring involves supporting the sides of the structure with either wooden structures or with hydraulic or mechanical systems.
  • Trench shield or box. Using a trench shield or box does not prevent an excavation from caving in, but it does protect workers who are in them in the event of a cave-in.
  • Benching. For protection in a trench using benching, use a series of steps which approximate the safe sloping angle, and the soil type is what determines the needed slope angle.
  • Sloping. Sloping involves cutting back the sites of the trench to a safe angle to prevent collapsing.

Only work within the confines of the protection system in a trench.

Enter or exit an excavation or trench only by way of a stairway, ladder, or ramp is that properly designed and is placed within the protected area.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this continuing series for more examples of caught-in or –between hazards and safety tips. In the next segment, learn about some of the responsibilities employers have to protect workers from these types of hazards.

–Guest Contributor


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Work Accident Lawyer Texas: OSHA Provides Examples of and Safety Tips for Workplace Caught-in or Between Hazards – Part 4

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

English: A wider-angle view of the One Rincon ...

English: A wider-angle view of the One Rincon Hill construction site and crane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides the following safety tips for workers to avoid caught-in or between construction injuries:

  • When a tool is being used, never remove the safety guard. The moving parts of power tools and equipment that are hazardous need to be safeguarded, including shafts, pulleys, belts, drums, chains, fly wheels, and other parts that rotate or move.
  • Do not wear jewelry or loose clothing that can be caught in the moving parts of machinery or equipment.
  • Tools need to be disconnected before servicing, when not in use, and when changing out accessories such as cutters, bits, and blades. Before doing repair or maintenance work, turn off vehicles. When possible, lock out the equipment’s power source.
  • The blades of scrapers, bulldozers, and similar equipment need to be lowered or blocked when not in use and before making repairs.
  • Do not place yourself between moving materials or equipment and a vehicle, immovable structure, or stacked material.
  • Be sure that loads being carried by equipment are secured and stable.
  • Stay clear of the swing radius of cranes and other equipment.
  • Always be aware of the equipment around you and keep a safe distance.
  • When required, wear a seatbelt to avoid both being crushed if the vehicle tips over and being thrown from the vehicle.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this continuing series for more examples of caught-in or –between hazards and safety tips. In the next segment, learn how to protect yourself on excavation sites and learn some of the responsibilities employers have to protect workers from these types of hazards.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA Provides Examples of and Safety Tips for Workplace Caught-in or Between Hazards – Part 3

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Airmain unloading a truck with forklift.

Airmain unloading a truck with forklift. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides the following examples of caught-in or between construction injuries that actually occurred:

  • An employee was under an I-beam and working from an aerial lift that was in the “up” position. He came into contact with the drive/steer lever by accident, and the manlift moved. The worker was killed as a result of being pinned between the manlift control panel and the I-beam.
  • One worker was repairing a pavement roller and another was cleaning an asphalt paving spreader. By accident, the roller was put into motion and began rolling toward the spreader. The worker who was cleaning the spreader was injured when he was pinned between the two machines.
  • One employee was putting dunnage under some sheet metal. A coworker was loading sheet metal on a flatbed truck with a powered industrial forklift. As the sheet metal was being loaded onto the flatbed truck, one of the bands which held the sheet metal together failed, whether because it broke or because the clamp was not secured properly. The back band also failed, and the load of sheet metal slid forward, pinning the employee underneath and against a dumpster. The employee was treated at a hospital for a dislocated knee and a fractured leg.
  • As a contractor was operating a backhoe, an employee tried to walk between a concrete wall and the backhoe’s swinging superstructure. The backhoe operator did not see the employee because he approached from the driver’s blind side. The man who was walking was crushed against the wall by the superstructure.

See Part 1, Part 2, and this continuing series for more examples of caught-in or –between hazards and safety tips.

–Guest Contributor


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Dallas Attorney for Work Accident: OSHA Provides Examples of and Safety Tips for Workplace Caught-in or Between Hazards – Part 2

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

English: Stone conveyor belt Craiglash Quarry.

English: Stone conveyor belt Craiglash Quarry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides the following examples of caught-in or between construction injuries that actually occurred:

  • A worker was going to clean muck from the tail pulley of a conveyor belt that was attached to a separator, and he climbed onto an I-beam. The worker reached between the feed and return of the belt with his hand to brush the muck from the belt, but the conveyor system was energized and in operation. The worker was caught by the moving belt. His arm and hand were pulled into a pinch point in the tail pulley, and his arm was fractured.
  • Two construction laborers were framing out footing for foundation walls in a deep excavation. The adjacent property along the north wall of the excavation had a 10-foot high cinderblock wall and seven garages. The cinderblock wall was not supported, and the wall collapsed, crushing both of the laborers. One of the laborers died in the workplace accident and the other was transported to the hospital for shoulder and back injuries.
  • Two employees were installing water pipes in a 9-foot deep excavation when the excavation caved in on and buried one of the workers. The employee was killed.
  • As a worker was operating a road grader, the engine died and the vehicle began rolling toward a small ravine. The worker jumped off of the grader but was pulled underneath it as it overturned. He was crushed beneath the tires and died.

See Part 1 and this continuing series for more examples of caught-in or –between hazards and safety tips.

–Guest Contributor


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