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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 ‘construction accident’

A Worker is Critically Injured in a Construction Accident in Frisco, Texas, and he Undergoes an Emergency Leg Amputation

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Trench-digging equipment (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Thursday, February 1, 2018, in Frisco, Texas, a 46-year-old construction worker became entrapped in a trench digging machine. One of his legs had to be amputated at the construction site, to release him. The worker, Francisco Palma, was in critical condition after the procedure, and he was transported to Medical City Plano, where he was placed in the Intensive Care Unit. In response to tremendous population growth and construction throughout the area, emergency medical teams had prepared for the possibility of an emergency amputation. It is believed that those preparations may have saved Palma’s life. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration visited the site, which is standard procedure after a workplace fatality or a serious accident. An investigation has been underway to determine whether the employer had followed safety guidelines designed to provide a safe workplace environment.

When the construction accident occurred, the trenching equipment caught Palma’s pant leg and flipped him over. The teeth of the equipment are like huge chainsaws. The construction worker’s leg was nearly severed, and he dangled from the equipment until the amputation procedure could be done. Firefighters with the Frisco Fire Department arrived on the accident scene within five minutes, but they were unable to free Palma from the equipment. They quickly surmised that his leg would have to be amputated right there, in the midst of the dirt.

A trauma surgeon was summoned, and surgeon Al West arrived at the scene by helicopter about 40 minutes after the accident occurred. Firefighters began administering blood that the surgeon brought with him, and other firefighters held Palma’s body so he wouldn’t fall. The amputation was completed within 10 minutes. West said that if the local area hadn’t been equipped to perform the emergency amputation, Palma may have bled to death, while waiting for the needed surgery.

During Palma’s continued recovery, doctors are working hard to prevent infection, since dirt was ground into his wounds. His remaining leg suffered injuries, but it is believed that he will be able to put weight on it after three months or more.

–Guest Contributor

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A Construction Worker was Killed by a Dump Truck in Pasadena, Texas, near San Jacinto College

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Heavy equipment (construction) – a Caterpillar...

Heavy equipment (construction) – a Caterpillar bulldozer, a Volvo dump truck, and a Liebherr excavator (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, a worker was allegedly struck and killed by a dump truck in Pasadena, Texas, at a construction site close to San Jacinto College. The truck had been backing up for the purpose of dumping a load of dirt, authorities say. The incident is still under investigation, and no further details were released. Several people in Texas have been killed by heavy equipment at construction sites this year and perhaps more, since not all workplace accidents make the news.

  • Earlier this month near Poth, Texas, a construction worker from New Braunfels died after being struck by heavy equipment at a construction site.
  • On September 2, a 38-year-old man was killed in a construction accident close to Georgetown, Texas. A grader, which is heavy equipment that flattens surfaces, struck and killed the man as he was installing gas lines.
  • In March of this year, a worker at a Carrollton, Texas, construction site was run over and killed by a heavy equipment construction vehicle.
  • In February, a piece of heavy equipment that was being moved killed a 43-year-old worker out of El Campo when it suddenly broke loose from the crane and fell to the ground.
  • In January, a worker was killed at a construction site when he got caught and crushed between two pieces of machinery. Also in January, a worker was struck by a truck in Hutchins, Texas.
  • In another tragedy in January, a 19-year-old woman was killed at a Bexar County, Texas, construction site when a digger was dropped on her as she was at the bottom of a 15-foot hole.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers are safe in workplace environments. Obviously, special care should always be taken when people are working around heavy equipment.

–Guest Contributor

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A 66-year-old Man is Killed in a Heavy Equipment Construction Accident Near Poth, Texas

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Southeast of San Antonio and west of Poth, Texas, a construction worker was killed earlier this month. According to the employer, 66-year-old Salvador Guillen of New Braunfels was struck and killed in a construction accident involving heavy equipment. Guillen had been involved in the repaving work on 541 near FM 2505 when the fatal workplace accident occurred. The employer in this case is a contract company out of New Braunfels, the Dean Word Company. A company spokesperson expressed sorrow over the tragic incident and said Guillen had worked for the company from 1990 to 2008 and came out of retirement to rejoin the workforce in March 2017.

Other agencies at the scene included the Texas Department of Public Safety. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) will be conducting an investigation of the scene. If safety violations are allegedly discovered, the employer will be subject to fines and penalties.

Back in 20006, OSHA reportedly issued a citation to the Dean Word Company for alleged violations related to accident prevention signs and tags. In 2009, OSHA issued a penalty to the employer for alleged violation of standard excavation requirements.

OSHA provides safety procedures for all industries. The purpose is to help to ensure that employers provide workers with a safe workplace environment. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries. There are many common dangers at construction work sites, and working near heavy equipment is among them. When safety measures aren’t taken, it puts lives at risk. It remains to be seen whether negligence was involved in this tragic workplace fatality.

–Guest Contributor

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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

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A Construction Worker is Killed in an Incident Near Georgetown, Texas

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Jose de Jesus Diaz-Venezuela, age 38, died in a tragic construction accident near Georgetown, Texas, on Saturday evening, September 2, 2017. Diaz-Venezuela was installing gas lines when he was struck by a grader being driven by another worker. The grader is heavy equipment used to flatten surfaces. The grader struck Diaz-Venezuela and caused bleeding around his head, but it didn’t run over him. According to Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody, he was probably crouching down when he was struck. Immediately following the accident, Diaz-Venezuela was conscious. An ambulance was called and an EMS crew arrived, but he died at the scene at about 5:19 p.m.

The gas lines were being installed by a pipeline construction firm based out of Giddings, Texas. The senior safety coordinator at the company announced that the investigation was in its preliminary stages, appropriate authorities had been notified, and they will fully cooperate with the investigation.

As with all fatal workplace accidents, an investigation will be done by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency will try to determine whether negligence in the area of construction safety was a factor in the workplace fatality.

The construction site where the accident occurred is located approximately a mile off of West Texas 29, not far from DB Wood Road.

Chody said in an interview about the deadly incident that something obviously didn’t go right, but it is believed by sheriff’s deputies to be an accident.

Workers are entitled to work in a safe environment, and employers have a duty to provide them.

–Guest Contributor

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