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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 ‘Fort Worth’

An On-Duty Texas Police Officer is Struck by an Alleged Drunk Driver

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On July 7, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas, Officer Matt Lesell was on the side of a Texas highway, having pulled over a vehicle at about 3 a.m. As he was walking up to the car, his dash cam video shows that a car crashed into him and the other vehicle. Lesell survived the crash. He can be seen walking away from the crash scene, though hobbled. The officer is hoping to use his experience as a way to highlight the hazards of drunk driving.

Lesell pointed out that Texas has a law called “Slow Down and Move Over.” Motorists are required by law to slow down when they are going to drive past transportation workers and police, fire, and emergency vehicles on the side of the road. This information is found on the website of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Employers have a duty to ensure that workers have a safe workplace environment. Texas laws obviously attempt to make things safer for police officers and those in emergency services. Another related law is that fines in construction zones are doubled, when drivers violate the speed limit or other laws.

A similar incident happened to Houston, Texas, police officers in July. They were investigating a possible incident involving driving while intoxicated (DWI). Another vehicle came along as they were investigating, and the car veered toward them. Firefighters screamed out warnings to the police officers. Both of the police officers ultimately fell over the ledge of the freeway, which was about a 20-foot drop. The officers landed in a grass area; neither had broken bones from falling.

All motorists have a responsibility to keep others safe in roadway work places. Police officers are often put at risk, since their workplace is often the side of a road.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor


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Canyon, Texas, Park Faces $42,000 in OSHA Penalties Following a Fatal Pyrotechnics Explosion

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas, USA

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 21-year-old woman working at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas, was killed in summer of 2015 when pyrotechnics exploded. Following the fatal work accident, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an inspection and has just released findings and proposed penalties and citations for six alleged serious safety violations. OSHA area director in Lubbock, Elizabeth Linda Routh, said the deceased had only three months of experience and lost her life because she was not provided with proper training or needed protective equipment that should be provided to workers handling pyrotechnics. She basically alleges that Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation failed in the duty to provide employees with a safe work environment.

The first alleged serious violation is that blasting agents or explosives were allegedly handled, stored, and/or transported when such handling, storage, or transporting of blasting agents or explosives constituted an undue hazard to life. More specifically, on July 31, 2015, at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas, workers handled explosives in a manner that amounted to a hazard to life. The proposed penalty for this alleged safety violation is: $7,000.

The second alleged serious violation is that spark-producing devices, open flames, matches, smoking, and firearms were permitted inside of or within 50 feet of magazines. More specifically, on July 31, 2015, at Palo Duro State Park, employer Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation allegedly permitted spark producing devices within 50 feet of a magazine, which exposed employees to explosion and fire hazards. The proposed penalty for this alleged OSHA safety violation is: $7,000.

See this continuing series to learn more about the alleged serious violations for which OSHA has cited Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Inc. in Canyon, Texas.

–Guest Contributor


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Help for Work Accident Injury – After Worker Suffers a Serious Fall, a Hurst, TX, Flooring Company Faces $66,990 in Proposed Penalties – Part 11

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

English: A modern skylight as a small cuppola ...

English: A modern skylight as a small cuppola mounted on a roof Polski: Współczesny świetlik osadzony na dachu w kopułce (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 more recommendations arrived at after review of numerous case studies of falls through roof openings such as skylights done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

  • Purchasers or manufacturers of skylights should be required to affix conspicuous decals to every skylight with a warning against stepping or sitting on them.
  • Before workers are required to work near skylights or other roof openings, they must be adequately trained to recognize the serious hazard of falls through roof openings, even from heights that seem to be low.
  • Workers must be trained to understand the dangers of stepping or sitting on skylights.
  • Manufacturers should modify skylight design so that they are strengthened sufficiently to support the weight of a roof worker who may fall, sit, or step on them. If this change creates an adverse effect on smoke-venting capacity of the structure, protective grillwork over the skylight should be considered.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and Part 10 of this 11-part series to learn more about fall hazards and OSHA citations issued to a Hurst, Texas, company this month.

–Guest Contributor


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

Monday, January 25th, 2016

balcony

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 OSHA 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 serious violation:

The employer allegedly failed to provide a training program to each worker potentially exposed to fall hazards, in order to enable those employees to recognize the dangers of falling and the procedures to follow in order to minimize hazards. More specifically, on or about July 22, 2015, workers performing concrete activities were not trained in a language that each worker could comprehend. The workers were not provided needed information to give them a proficiency in recognizing and avoiding fall hazards or to equip them to understand the correct procedures for minimizing those hazards. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $5,390.

A serious violation is one which exists in the workplace when a workplace hazard could cause an illness or accident that would most likely result in serious physical harm or death, unless the employer could not have known about or did not know about the violation.

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

–Guest Contributor


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A Sherman, Texas, Company Faces $162,000 in Proposed OSHA Penalties – Part 3

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

English: Logo for the United States Occupation...

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

A complaint regarding alleged safety hazards at a Dollar General in Sherman, Texas, led to a July 14 inspection by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Citations were recently issued for one serious violation, two repeat violations, and two willful violations. OSHA’s acting director in Fort Worth, Texas, Josh Bernstein, alleges that Dollar General stores nationwide have repeatedly exposed workers to unnecessary hazards by failing to deal appropriately with overstocking issues. The employer has a responsibility, Berstein said, to identify and fix these hazards.

Repeated violations carry the highest penalties. If an agency has been cited previously for the same or a similar condition or if OSHA’s region-wide inspection history for a company includes previous OSHA notices within the past five years and for other circumstances, a company can be issued an OSHA citation for a repeated violation.

An alleged repeated violation for which OSHA has issued a citation carrying a $22,000 penalty to the Sherman company is failing to keep service rooms, passageways, storerooms, and places of employment orderly, clean, and in a sanitary condition.

Read more about the OSHA violations alleged against Dollar General in Sherman, Texas, in Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing series. In the coming segments, learn about the final alleged repeat violation in the OSHA notice.

–Guest Contributor


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One Worker is Killed in a Pasadena, TX, Chemical Plant Explosion

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LP, Pasadena Pl...

Pasadena, Texas, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Saturday, January 16, 2016, a fatal workplace accident occurred at PeroxyChem, a plant on Bay Area Blvd. in Pasadena, Texas. According to Vance Mitchell of the Pasadena Police Department, the explosion occurred at about 12:45 in the Bayport complex. According to David Brannon, who is with the Pasadena Fire Marshall’s Office, an over-pressurized tank caused the deadly explosion that injured three workers and killed one. Mitchell said the tank held an oil-based cleaning solution. One of the injured workers suffered a broken arm as a result of the explosion and the other two injured employees were exposed to the toxic chemical. The deceased and one injured worker were contractors and the other two injured were employees of PeroxyChem.

According to an email about the incident from Natalie Kay, spokesperson for PeroxyChem, a routine function was being conducted when the contractor’s equipment exploded.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides guidelines for ensuring that workers have a safe environment to work in, and it includes working with compressed gas cylinders. For instance, other than in approved cylinder manifolds, acetylene must not be piped, generated, or utilized at a pressure exceeding 15 pounds per square inch (psig). Cylinders containing acetylene must be used and stored in a vertical, valve-end-up position. There are also specific provisions for in-plant handling, storage, transfer, and use of acetylene in cylinders. One of the dangers of pressurized gas is that there could be an explosion, if over-pressured, which is what seems to have happened at the Pasadena plant explosion.

–Guest Contributor


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Contractor Cited by OSHA Following Fatal Workplace Fall

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

大工と屋根造作・垂木構造

大工と屋根造作・垂木構造 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

OSHA’s Fort Lauderdale Area Office director, Condell Eastmond, said that SB Framing had been previously warned by a third party as recently as the day just before the fatal fall, yet the worker had no fall protection while working on a roof. Eastmond said the company failed to heed warnings and to take action in order to protect workers.

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

The employer failed to provide a training program for each worker potentially exposed to a fall hazard. Training would enable employees to recognize hazards of falling and the procedures to follow in order to minimize the risk. More specifically, on 9/26/2015, the employer failed to ensure that workers performing carpentry work on a rake beam who were exposed to a fall hazard of about 19.6 feet to the ground level had adequate training to recognize fall hazards. The proposed penalty for this alleged OSHA violation is: $4,900.

Learn more about the OSHA citations in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Hurt at Work Attorney – A Fort Worth, TX, Manufacturer Faces $70,000 in OSHA Penalties

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Fort Worth, Texas. Taken from the Amon Carter ...

Fort Worth, Texas. Taken from the Amon Carter Museum looking east. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received a complaint in September of 2015 alleging that a worker had suffered an amputation injury. A new OSHA rule in effect January 1, 2015, requires employers to report amputation as well as loss of an eye and hospitalization within 24 hours of the incident. The complaint prompted an investigation of M & M Manufacturing in Fort Worth, Texas. According to OSHA’s acting director in Fort Worth, Josh Bernstein, the company has repeatedly promised to take corrective action after repeated citations for failure to guard machinery. Employers have a responsibility to identify and fix such hazards. Bernstein says OSHA is holding this employee accountable, imposing a proposed OSHA penalty of $70,000.

The alleged repeat violation which carried the full penalty imposed is that the employer failed to place required guards on machinery in order to prevent workers from having any part of their body in a hazard zone during cycles of operation. Specifically, the 10-inch collar machine in the Special Fittings Department had unguarded rotating parts, which exposed employees to an amputation hazard when the machine was in operation. Also, M & M Manufacturing was cited previously for the same or an equivalent standard in 2012 with respect to a workplace in Fort Worth; May of 2015 with respect to a workplace in Houston, Texas; and June of 2015 with respect to a workplace in Garland, Texas.

M & M Manufacturing employs approximately 700 workers at facilities located in Texas and Oklahoma.

–Guest Contributor


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A Sherman, Texas, Company Faces $162,000 in Proposed OSHA Penalties – Part 4

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

English: Portable fire extinguisher with manom...

English: Portable fire extinguisher with manometer. Dry powder (ABC) type. 1 kg powder. Usable in voltage below 1,000 V. Français : Extincteur portable avec manomètre, contenant 1 kg de poudre utilisable pour les feux de classe A, B et C. Utilisable sous tension électrique inférieure à 1000 V. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A complaint regarding alleged safety hazards at a Dollar General in Sherman, Texas, led to a July 14 inspection by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Citations were recently issued for one serious violation, two repeat violations, and two willful violations. OSHA’s acting director in Fort Worth, Texas, Josh Bernstein, alleges that Dollar General stores nationwide have repeatedly exposed workers to unnecessary hazards by failing to deal appropriately with overstocking issues. The employer has a responsibility, Berstein said, to identify and fix these hazards.

Finally, the second alleged repeat violation carries a proposed penalty of $33,000. According to OSHA, portable fire extinguishers were not mounted,  located, and identified and were therefore not accessible to employees without subjecting them to injuries. Details include specific dates in which these alleged violations occurred, for example:

  • On or about July 14, 2015, a portable fire extinguisher was allegedly located behind rolltainers and boxes rather than at the south entrance door of the stock and receiving room, exposing employees to fire hazards.
  • On the same date a portable fire extinguisher was allegedly not accessible at the rear of the stock and receiving room near an electrical panel; rather, it was located behind rolltainers and boxes, which exposed employees to fire hazards.

Equivalent violations were allegedly committed in the past, including on 1/16/15, 11/25/14, and 8/15/13.

Read more about the OSHA violations alleged against Dollar General in Sherman, Texas, in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four-part series.

–Guest Contributor


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Hurt at Work Lawyer – A Sherman, Texas, Company Faces $162,000 in Proposed OSHA Penalties

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

A complaint regarding alleged safety hazards at a Dollar General in Sherman, Texas, led to a July 14 inspection by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Citations were recently issued for one serious violation, two repeat violations, and two willful violations. OSHA’s acting director in Fort Worth, Texas, Josh Bernstein, alleges that Dollar General stores nationwide have repeatedly exposed workers to unnecessary hazards by failing to deal appropriately with overstocking issues. The employer has a responsibility, Berstein said, to identify and fix these hazards.

The alleged serious OSHA violation occurred on or about July 14, 2015, at Dollar General Store #3627 in the main area of the store at the door, which is a double entrance. An “Exit” sign was not installed above the emergency exit door, which exposed workers to fire hazards. The proposed penalty for the alleged violation is: $3,300.

A serious violation exists in the workplace when a workplace hazard could cause an illness or accident that would most likely result in serious physical harm or death, unless the employer could not have known about the violation or did not know.

The first alleged willful violation was that exit routes in the store were not kept unobstructed and clear of debris. More specifically, boxes of product loaded on U-boats and placed on the floor were not stored in such a way that there was unobstructed access in or out of store exits, which exposed employees to an entrapment hazard as well as fire hazards. In addition, the emergency exit door in the stock/receiving room was blocked, which prevented employees from having access to the emergency door. The proposed penalty is: $60,500.

Read more about the OSHA violations alleged against Dollar General in Sherman, Texas, in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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