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 ‘Christmas’

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: ,,,,,,,,,,

A Houston, Texas, Nursery is Cited by OSHA Following a Workplace Injury – Part 2

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

English: Christmas trees, Elsrickle One of sev...

English: Christmas trees, Elsrickle One of several Christmas tree plantations in the area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued safety violation citations against Quality Christmas Tree Ltd, of Houston, Texas, which is doing business as Houston Garden Center. The inspection of the Houston Garden Center was initiated by a complaint related to a hospitalization in December of 2015, which was not reported as required by OSHA standards. An investigation into the incident by OSHA determined that an employee fell from a container that was hoisted aloft by a forklift. Houston Garden Center was cited for two repeat violations, 13 serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation. The total in proposed penalties amounts to $117,000.

The following is information about serious OSHA violations allegedly committed by Houston Garden Center:

The employer allegedly failed to furnish each employee with a place of employment free from known hazards of falls from elevated work platforms that cause or are likely to cause serious physical harm or death to workers. More specifically, employees at the facility were allegedly exposed to fall hazards when using wood pallets and bins elevated by a forklift to dump trash into a dumpster. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation that exposed employees to possible fall injuries in the workplace is: $7,000.

The employer allegedly failed to use protective equipment when necessary whenever hazards capable of causing impairment or injury were encountered. More specifically, employees in the workplace were exposed to struck-by hazards when using a chain saw to cut Christmas trees without protection for their legs. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation that exposed employees to possible workplace injuries is: $5,000.

Learn more about OSHA safety violations for which Houston Garden Center has been cited in Part 1 and this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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

After Worker Suffers a Serious Fall, a Hurst, TX, Flooring Company Faces $66,990 in Proposed Penalties – Part 7

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Rooftop wiring done. Final cleaning. Electric ...

Rooftop wiring done. Final cleaning. Electric system installation took much longer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inspection of a flooring company in Hurst, Texas, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was instigated after a worker fell from a balcony at a Fort Worth construction site and required hospitalization for care of his injuries. Subfloor Systems Inc. was issued citations for an alleged serious violation and an alleged willful violation, and the total proposed penalty is $66,990. Acting area director for OSHA in Fort Worth, Josh Bernstein, said the employer failed to provide training or fall protection and put workers in a hazardous situation, exposing them to preventable fall injuries.

The following are details from an actual fatal fall that occurred and that became part of a case study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

A 26-year-old sheet metal mechanic was killed while working with a coworker near a roof opening. They were getting set to install a 54-inch-square steel cap over the opening of a manufacturing plant roof. The 75-pound cap was placed against a metal structure about 34 inches from the opening where it was to be installed. The victim placed himself between the roof opening and the cap. He was applying caulking to the raised curb of the opening when a gust of wind dislodged the cap from where it was propped. The cap struck the worker and knocked him through the opening. He fell head-first to the concrete floor below, which was a 22-foot drop.

As a result of this and other fatal falls — others to be shared in this ongoing series — safety recommendations were made. Some of these will be included at the close of this series.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this ongoing series to learn more about fall hazards and OSHA citations issued to a Hurst, Texas, company this month.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Lawyer for Cleburne, Tx. Construction – After Worker Suffers a Serious Fall, a Hurst, TX, Flooring Company Faces $66,990 in Proposed Penalties – Part 6

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Gainesville: : Skylight over the Spanish Court...

Gainesville: : Skylight over the Spanish Court, looking west (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inspection of a flooring company in Hurst, Texas, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was instigated after a worker fell from a balcony at a Fort Worth construction site and required hospitalization for care of his injuries. Subfloor Systems Inc. was issued citations for an alleged serious violation and an alleged willful violation, and the total proposed penalty is $66,990. Acting area director for OSHA in Fort Worth, Josh Bernstein, said the employer failed to provide training or fall protection and put workers in a hazardous situation, exposing them to preventable fall injuries.

The following are details from an actual fatal fall that occurred and that became part of a case study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

A 41-year-old ironworker was part of an eight-man crew installing steel decking on the rooftop of a new building six stories high. The ironworker went to another part of the roof to get some needed material for the task and didn’t return right away. He was soon found  in the stairwell on the fifth floor, lying unconscious. Apparently, when he removed a piece of decking for the work, a ventilation opening in the roof became exposed. He stepped through it and fell 25 feet. The man lived for 12 hours before succumbing to his injuries.

As a result of this and other fatal falls — others to be shared in this ongoing series — safety recommendations were made. Some of these will be included at the close of this series.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this ongoing series to learn more about fall hazards and OSHA citations issued to a Hurst, Texas, company this month.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Construction Accident Attorney – After Worker Suffers a Serious Fall, a Hurst, TX, Flooring Company Faces $66,990 in Proposed Penalties – Part 5

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Skylight looking from senate

Skylight looking from senate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inspection of a flooring company in Hurst, Texas, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was instigated after a worker fell from a balcony at a Fort Worth construction site and required hospitalization for care of his injuries. Subfloor Systems Inc. was issued citations for an alleged serious violation and an alleged willful violation, and the total proposed penalty is $66,990. Acting area director for OSHA in Fort Worth, Josh Bernstein, said the employer failed to provide training or fall protection and put workers in a hazardous situation, exposing them to preventable fall injuries.

The following are details from an actual fatal fall that occurred and that became part of a case study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

An 18-year-old sheet metal helper was working on a roof which had skylights, and fencing material was being installed over the skylights, to prevent falls. The reason for the work was that a worker had fallen through a skylight to his death at the site three months earlier. The crew was also replacing corrugated metal roof sheeting. The crew was ordered by the supervisor to temporarily stop work. When the 18-year-old made his way to a vent stack to warm himself, he stepped on an unguarded skylight and fell down 33 feet to a concrete floor. He was transported to a hospital, where he died within two hours.

As a result of this and other fatal falls — others to be shared in this ongoing series — safety recommendations were made. Some of these will be included at the close of this series.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this ongoing series to learn more about fall hazards and OSHA citations issued to a Hurst, Texas, company this month.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Hurt at Work Lawyer North Texas – After Worker Suffers a Serious Fall, a Hurst, TX, Flooring Company Faces $66,990 in Proposed Penalties – Part 4

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Blue sky and clouds through a large skylight w...

Blue sky and clouds through a large skylight window (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inspection of a flooring company in Hurst, Texas, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was instigated after a worker fell from a balcony at a Fort Worth construction site and required hospitalization for care of his injuries. Subfloor Systems Inc. was issued citations for an alleged serious violation and an alleged willful violation, and the total proposed penalty is $66,990. Acting area director for OSHA in Fort Worth, Josh Bernstein, said the employer failed to provide training or fall protection and put workers in a hazardous situation, exposing them to preventable fall injuries.

The following are details from an actual fatal fall that occurred and that became part of a case study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

During construction of a building, a 24-year-old plumber was installing plumbing fixtures on the roof. There were numerous 4-by-4-foot openings framed into the roof, and they were intended to be smoke-vent skylights. No guardrails were in place and there was no fall protection of any kind. The plumber was discussing a fixture on the roof with a coworker when he fell down 22 feet onto a concrete floor through an unguarded skylight opening.

As a result of this and other fatal falls — others to be shared in this ongoing series — safety recommendations were made. Some of these will be included at the close of this series.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this ongoing series to learn more about fall hazards and OSHA citations issued to a Hurst, Texas, company this month.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Hurt at Work Fort Worth – After Worker Suffers a Serious Fall, a Hurst, TX, Flooring Company Faces $66,990 in Proposed Penalties – Part 3

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

The skylight at the main entrance of HP Pavilion.

The skylight at the main entrance of HP Pavilion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inspection of a flooring company in Hurst, Texas, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was instigated after a worker fell from a balcony at a Fort Worth construction site and required hospitalization for care of his injuries. Subfloor Systems Inc. was issued citations for an alleged serious violation and an alleged willful violation, and the total proposed penalty is $66,990. Acting area director for OSHA in Fort Worth, Josh Bernstein, said the employer failed to provide training or fall protection and put workers in a hazardous situation, exposing them to preventable fall injuries.

The greatest threat to the safety of construction workers involves fall hazards. All falls on the job are considered by OSHA to be preventable. Employers have a responsibility to provide fall protection in the circumstances outlined in OSHA standards. Those standards basically address hazards that can be prevented using common-sense safety procedures.

Materials about fall prevention abound. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), for example, addresses the specific hazard of worker deaths and injuries caused by falls through roof openings and skylights. These types of openings are involved in many fatal construction falls. Standards are provided which address specific dangers and provide specific solutions. Learn about several cases of fall fatalities through roof openings and skylights, cases that were studied by NIOSH in an attempt to help prevent the same types of incidents from occurring again.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing series to learn more about fall hazards and OSHA citations issued to a Hurst, Texas, company this month.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

After Worker Suffers a Serious Fall, a Hurst, TX, Flooring Company Faces $66,990 in Proposed Penalties – Part 2

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Old Balcony

Old Balcony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inspection of a flooring company in Hurst, Texas, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was instigated after a worker fell from a balcony at a Fort Worth construction site and required hospitalization for care of his injuries. Subfloor Systems Inc. was issued citations for an alleged serious violation and an alleged willful violation, and the total proposed penalty is $66,990. Acting area director for OSHA in Fort Worth, Josh Bernstein, said the employer failed to provide training or fall protection and put workers in a hazardous situation, exposing them to preventable fall injuries.

The following is information about the alleged willful violation:

OSHA alleges that each worker on a working or walking surface with an unprotected side or an edge 6 feet or more above a lower level was not protected from falling by the use of personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, or guardrail systems. More specifically, on or about July 22, 2015, workers performing concrete activities from unprotected balconies without any type of fall protection exposed those workers to fall hazards:

  • From a second floor balcony. A foreman and one other worker were working without fall protection, which exposed the employees to an unprotected fall hazard of about 22 feet to the ground below.
  • From a third floor balcony. A foreman and three other workers were allegedly working without fall protection, exposing the employees to an unprotected fall hazard of about 33 feet to the ground below.

The proposed penalty for this alleged willful violation is: $61,600.

See Part 1 of this ongoing series to learn about the one serious willful violation that the Hurst, Texas, company was cited for by OSHA.

–Guest Contributor


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

Contractor Cited by OSHA Following Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 2

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

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.

The following are details about the alleged willful OSHA safety violation:

The employer allegedly failed to protect workers engaged in residential construction activities at a height of 6 feet or more above lower levels. The employer is required to protect employees who are working at such heights by providing a personal fall arrest system, safety net system, or guardrail system. In addition, employees were not provided with an alternative fall protection measure. More specifically, on or about 9/26/15, an employee was exposed to a fall hazard of about 19.6 feet from the ground level while working from a tie-beam installing a rake beam because no fall protection equipment had been provided. The proposed penalty for this alleged OSHA violation is: $49,000.

Learn more about the OSHA citations in Part 1 and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,

Waco Construction Accident Attorney: Top Causes of On-the-Job Injuries in Texas and Across the U.S. – Part 7

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Mercedes-Benz Actros cement mixer truck in Reg...

Mercedes-Benz Actros cement mixer truck in Regensburg, Germany. Русский: Автобетоносмеситель на шасси Mercedes-Benz Actros в Германии. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roadway Incidents

Roadway incidents that involve motorized land vehicles are also leading causes of workplace injuries. In 2013, of the 105 worker fatalities that occurred at road construction sites, 69% were pedestrian workers killed by motor vehicles. Texas is the top ranking state for roadway construction worker fatalities, followed by Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and California. The following are safety tips for road construction zones:

  • Work zones should include proper traffic controls. There should be advanced warning for motorists, letting them know that a transition in driving conditions is up ahead. Traffic control devices usually include barrels, cones, signs, and barriers.
  • Proper safety equipment should be worn, such as hard hates, highly visible clothing, steel-toed boots, and hearing protection when noise levels are hazardous. Highly visible clothing should be bright fluorescent yellow/lime or orange.
  • Workers should always be alert to their surroundings and avoid walking into the swing radius of heavy equipment or behind vehicles that are backing up. Spotters should be utilized when vehicles are moving in reverse.
  • Dump trucks, excavators, rollers, and pavers are just a few of the heavy equipment vehicles that move inside work zones. Pedestrian workers should be careful to maintain visual contact, and not just assumed visual contact, with the drivers of the machines.
  • Communication in daily safety meetings is a good way to ensure a safer work environment. Make sure all workers have the proper personal protective equipment for the jobs being done.

Learn more about other leading causes of workplace injuries in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


Tags: ,,,,,,,,,