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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 ‘Death’

A Contract Worker is Struck and Killed by an 18-Wheeler on I-20 in Sweetwater, Texas

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Sweetwater, Texas, railroad overpass (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A contract worker was struck and killed by an 18-wheeler on I-20 in Sweetwater, Texas, on Wednesday morning, December 6, 2017. The fatal crash occurred close to mile marker 248. Sixty-two-year-old Jesus Vicente Enriquez of San Angelo, Texas, was part of a construction crew surveying a site in which five crashes had occurred earlier in the day, all of which involved 18-wheelers, according to Sweetwater Fire Chief Grant Madden. Madden said the road has a slick spot that isn’t related to weather. The Department of Public Safety said Enriquez was standing in the median of I-20 when an 18-wheeler headed east jackknifed, slid into the median, and struck him. Enriquez worked for Reece Albert, Inc., which is based in San Angelo. In the previous crashes that day, one driver had suffered minor injuries.

Madden said that right around 7:30 a.m. or so, a string of accidents involving 18-wheelers began to happen, one after the other. Enriquez was working as a contractor for a paving company. He had been surveying the damage caused by a previous crash. When the fatal accident occurred, he was standing on the median looking at the diesel spill that was to be cleaned up. No one else was in that area when the big rig lost control and ran over him. Two other contract workers who witnessed the truck losing control quickly moved, to stay clear. Enriquez was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Sweetwater fire department investigated the scene to find strategies for preventing any further accidents from occurring.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA Cites a Houston TX Company after a Workplace Fatality – Part 7

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations to Atlantic Coffee Industrial Solutions LLC out of Houston, Texas, on May 11, 2016, with proposed penalties totaling $63,000. The inspection on November 12, 2015, was initiated after a workplace fatality occurred. A 53-year-old shift supervisor died of asphyxiation after the release of carbon dioxide. Mark Briggs, the Houston South office OSHA area director, said detailed emergency response plans must be developed in connection with the uncontrolled release of carbon dioxide, which is dangerous. He said if an employee is untrained, they can quickly get caught in a chaotic situation, not knowing what actions to take, possibly resulting in serious injury or death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides an occupational health guideline for carbon dioxide. The following is information about the hazards of carbon dioxide:

If carbon dioxide is inhaled, it can affect the body. Compressed carbon dioxide gas from a cylinder and solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) can affect the body if it comes in contact with the mouth, skin, or eyes.

Inhaling carbon dioxide can cause the following health effects:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid beating of the heart
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Mental depression
  • Shaking
  • Unconsciousness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Death
  • Contact with dry ice can cause frostbite

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this seven-part series to learn more about the alleged serious OSHA violations for which Atlantic Coffee in Houston, Texas, has been cited.

–Guest Contributor


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Dallas, Tx Lawyer – NIOSH and OSHA Release an Alert about a Deadly Tank Hazard – Part 11

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

English: Shell Haven Stores, Workshops and Cru...

English: Shell Haven Stores, Workshops and Crude Tanks Shell Haven Oil Refinery Stores and Workshops, with Crude Oil Tanks behind them. All have been demolished. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Health and safety risks to workers involved with sampling or manually gauging fluids on flowback and production tanks have been identified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A hazard alert has been released regarding exposure to vapors, hydrocarbon gases, oxygen-deficient atmospheres, and the potential for explosions and fires. Opening tank hatches or “thief hatches” can result in high concentrations of hydrocarbon vapors and gases being released. These are dangerous exposures that can have immediate health effects, including loss of consciousness and death. From 2010 through 2014, nine fatalities occurred that were associated with working near open hatches of crude oil production tanks.

NIOSH shares the following details about the deaths associated with tank hatches but without naming the victim, date, or location of each incident:

An oil tanker truck driver, age 59, died while taking samples of crude oil from an open thief hatch. At the approximate time of his death, the worker was wearing a gas monitor, which reported the presence of hydrocarbons fully exceeding the lower explosive limit and an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. A few weeks prior to the fatal accident, the employee had a similar experience on the catwalk, in which another driver found him dizzy and disoriented; the employee was taken to a clinic at that time. The employee was working alone when the fatal workplace accident occurred. His job had included traveling to various oil fields to transfer crude oil from large production storage tanks into the tanker truck. Before pumping crude oil from the storage tanks to the truck, the employee was to climb onto a catwalk between the oil tanks in order to gauge and sample their content. The coroner attributed the man’s death to sudden cardiac death and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Other possible contributing factors named were tobacco use, diabetes, oxygen displacement by volatile hydrocarbons, and toxic gas inhalation.

Learn more information from this important hazard alert in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and Part 10 of this ongoing series. In the next segment, learn more about specific fatalities associated with opening the tank hatch.

–Guest Contributor


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Texas Oil Field Workers – NIOSH and OSHA Release an Alert about a Deadly Tank Hazard – Part 9

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

English: Oil storage tank, near Hamble Common ...

English: Oil storage tank, near Hamble Common Looking west from the footpath on the edge of Hamble Common, the view is dominated by one of the oil storage tanks at the ESSO depot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Health and safety risks to workers involved with sampling or manually gauging fluids on flowback and production tanks have been identified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A hazard alert has been released regarding exposure to vapors, hydrocarbon gases, oxygen-deficient atmospheres, and the potential for explosions and fires. Opening tank hatches or “thief hatches” can result in high concentrations of hydrocarbon vapors and gases being released. These are dangerous exposures that can have immediate health effects, including loss of consciousness and death. From 2010 through 2014, nine fatalities occurred that were associated with working near open hatches of crude oil production tanks.

NIOSH shares the following details about the deaths associated with tank hatches but without naming the victim, date, or location of each incident:

A 30-year-old employee was found slumped over on the catwalk near an oil storage tank at the oil well servicing site. A second crew member found the victim at 3:00 a.m. and, with the help of another crew member, moved the victim to the ground. The crew members performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until the ambulance arrived. The victim was pronounced dead at 4:35 a.m. The autopsy revealed atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease. This was the first of the nine deaths later linked to dangerous tank hatch exposures.

Learn more information from this important hazard alert in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8 of this ongoing series. In the next segment, learn more about specific fatalities associated with opening the tank hatch.

–Guest Contributor


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DFW Construction Injury Attorney – NIOSH and OSHA Release an Alert about a Deadly Tank Hazard – Part 7

Monday, March 21st, 2016

English: Marathon Oil Company refinery storage...

English: Marathon Oil Company refinery storage tank, Findlay, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Health and safety risks to workers involved with sampling or manually gauging fluids on flowback and production tanks have been identified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A hazard alert has been released regarding exposure to vapors, hydrocarbon gases, oxygen-deficient atmospheres, and the potential for explosions and fires. Opening tank hatches or “thief hatches” can result in high concentrations of hydrocarbon vapors and gases being released. These are dangerous exposures that can have immediate health effects, including loss of consciousness and death. From 2010 through 2014, nine fatalities occurred that were associated with working near open hatches of crude oil production tanks.

NIOSH shares the following details about the deaths associated with tank hatches but without naming the victim, date, or location of each incident:

The assignment given to a worker was to monitor and gauge oil production of a production tank. Every hour, the employee was gauging each of three oil tanks and three water tanks on site. The task involved climbing the stairs to an elevated catwalk, dropping a gauger into the tank, and measuring how much liquid was in each tank. A delivery driver found the deceased employee at 4:14 a.m. at the base of the stairs. Apparently, the victim had collapsed while descending the catwalk stairs.

Learn more information from this important hazard alert in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this ongoing series. In the next segment, learn more about specific fatalities associated with opening the tank hatch.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA Cites a San Antonio, TX, Construction Co. for Safety Violations After a Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 7

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Federal Building construction

Federal Building construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tragic death of 61-year-old Gabriel Palacios led to several inspections of the San Antonio, Texas, company he was working for. The inspections were performed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and the company cited is Longhorn Contractors, which is a framing business. Proposed penalties for citations released on December 8, 2015, equal $80,190 and are imposed for a worksite in Kyle, Texas, and another worksite in Live Oak. Palacios was a 20-year employee, and he died as a result of falling 35 feet from a roof.

OSHA wages campaigns related to fall safety. Most falls that occur on construction jobs are considered to be entirely preventable. The following information is provided with regard to preventing falls:

During just about any construction project, there are times when workers can be endangered by wall openings, unprotected edges and sides, and floor holes. If these hazards aren’t properly addressed, employees can sustain injuries from falling objects or from falls. The types of injuries that occur range from bruises and sprains to concussions; and, unfortunately, fatal injuries often occur. Employees must provide protection, whenever workers are exposed to a fall of 6 feet or more to a lower level below.

Learn more about the OSHA citations that Longhorn Contractors received in December of 2015 in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this ongoing series. Falls are a leading cause of construction fatalities. Learn more about fall hazards in the next segment of the series.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA Cites a San Antonio, TX, Construction Co. for Safety Violations After a Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 6

Monday, December 21st, 2015

A window washer on one of skyscrapers in Shanghai

A window washer on one of skyscrapers in Shanghai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tragic death of 61-year-old Gabriel Palacios led to several inspections of the San Antonio, Texas, company he was working for. The inspections were performed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and the company cited is Longhorn Contractors, which is a framing business. Proposed penalties for citations released on December 8, 2015, equal $80,190 and are imposed for a worksite in Kyle, Texas, and another worksite in Live Oak. Palacios was a 20-year employee, and he died as a result of falling 35 feet from a roof.

OSHA wages campaigns related to fall safety. Most falls that occur on construction jobs are considered to be entirely preventable. The following information is provided with regard to preventing falls:

Falling objects and falls can result from a number of situations, including ladders that are incorrectly positioned, misuse of fall protection, and unstable working surfaces. In addition, workers can fall into floor holes and unprotected wall openings, edges, and sides. Fall protection must be provided anytime a worker is in danger of potentially falling 6 feet or more.

Employers have a responsibility to assess each workplace to determine whether the working and walking surfaces employees will work on have the structural integrity and the strength to safely support workers. When a fall hazard is present, the employer must provide one of the options provided via OSHA rules, to protect workers from falls.

Learn more about the OSHA citations that Longhorn Contractors received in December of 2015 in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this ongoing series. Falls are a leading cause of construction fatalities. Learn more about fall hazards in the next segment of the series.

–Guest Contributor


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Death at Work Attorney – OSHA Cites an Abilene, Texas, Company for Fall Hazards – Part 3

Friday, November 6th, 2015

4max

4max (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited a roofing contractor in Abilene, Texas, for exposing employees to fall hazards. The proposed penalty for the alleged willful violation is $53,900.

Fall Hazards

Fall hazards are listed by OSHA as one of the four biggest construction hazards in the U.S. In 2013 in the construction industry, there were 291 work fatalities caused by falls to a lower level. These fatalities are preventable. OSHA says that these kinds of deaths can be prevented with three simple steps:

  • Plan
  • Provide
  • Train

Continuing the information on the step “Provide,” employers have a responsibility to provide the appropriate type of protection for a specific job. There are different kinds of scaffolds. The following are examples of construction scaffolds:

  • Aerial platforms, such as a vehicle-mounted aerial platform with a boom that telescopes and rotates.
  • A boatswains chair.
  • Carpenter’s bracket scaffold.
  • Bricklayer’s square scaffold.
  • Float scaffold.
  • Manually propelled mobile scaffold.
  • Ladder jack scaffold.
  • Extension trestle ladder scaffold.
  • Tube and coupler scaffold.
  • Two-point suspended scaffold.

Workers involved in roofing work must be protected from falls; it is the employer’s responsibility. A harness is needed for each worker who uses a personal fall arrest system (PFAS), and the fit is an important element of safety. PFASs must be routinely inspected to ensure that they are in good enough condition to prevent workers from hazardous falls.

Learn more about the OSHA citation in Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series. In the next segment, learn about different types of ladders and more.

–Guest Contributor


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North Texas Lawyer for Work Accidents – OSHA Cites Construction Contractors in Austin about Alleged Excavation Hazards – Part 5

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Single steel raking shore system specifically ...

Single steel raking shore system specifically for tilt slab shoring. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CVI Development and Hensel Phelps Construction have both been cited by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for alleged excavation hazards on a construction site in downtown Austin, Texas. In addition, CVI Development was also cited for two alleged serious violations. Hensel Phelps, headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, has been fined $70,000 and CVI Development, headquartered in Austin, has been fined $18,000.

Employees working in excavation sites must be protected from collapse of adjacent structures, cave-ins of material that can roll or fall into an excavation, and collapse of the sides of the trenching.

A protective system is not required if an excavation is less than 5 feet deep, unless a competent person sees signs of a possible cave-in. When a trench is between 5 and 20 feet deep, protective measures are required, and acceptable measures include: Sheeting or shoring, shielding, benching, and sloping.

Shoring or Sheeting

Shoring systems support the sides of an excavation and are designed to prevent cave-ins. The structures are hydraulic, mechanical, or timber systems.

A shoring system that retains soil in position is sheeting. It is sometimes driven into the ground, and it sometimes works in conjunction with a shoring system. It is most common for sheeting to be used when an excavation is going to be open for an extended period of time.

Another type of sheeting method, sometimes referred to as an active system, is when shoring grade plywood or plates are used along with strutted systems, such as hydraulic or timber shoring. Most commonly, aluminum hydraulic shores are used; they are re-usable, lightweight, and are completely removed from the ground.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this continuing series for more information. In the next segment, learn more about different systems for preventing excavation cave-ins, which are specified by OSHA.

–Guest Contributor


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East Texas Work Accident Attorney – OSHA Cites Construction Contractors in Austin about Alleged Excavation Hazards – Part 4

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Photo by S. A. McHugh

Photo by S. A. McHugh

CVI Development and Hensel Phelps Construction have both been cited by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for alleged excavation hazards on a construction site in downtown Austin, Texas. In addition, CVI Development was also cited for two alleged serious violations. Hensel Phelps, headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, has been fined $70,000 and CVI Development, headquartered in Austin, has been fined $18,000.

Cave-ins are often deadly events, and employers have a duty to protect workers by shoring up the sides of excavations. The following are conditions in unprotected excavations in which cave-ins are more likely to occur:

  • Vehicle traffic or construction equipment near the excavation is causing excessive vibration;
  • The soil where the excavation is located was either previously disturbed or is unstable;
  • Water has accumulated in the excavation;
  • There have been changes in weather conditions, such as melting, freezing, or sudden heavy rain; or
  • A surcharge of loads is located near the sides of the excavation, most often from either excavated material or equipment placed too near the edge of the trenching.

The following are strategies for controlling above-named conditions:

  • When possible, re-route traffic so that it is not too near the excavation site.
  • Keep only the heavy construction that is required near the excavation’s edges.
  • Use protective systems, as required by OSHA standards.
  • Before anyone enters the excavation, pump out any water that has accumulated.
  • Always keep the spoil pile at least 2 feet from the excavation’s edge.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this continuing series for more information. In the next segment, learn about different systems for preventing excavation cave-ins, which are specified by OSHA.

–Guest Contributor


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