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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 ‘Heavy equipment (construction)’

A 20-year-old Worker Dies in Wolfforth, Texas, in a Construction Accident

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

English: Logo for the United States Occupation...

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

On Friday, July 7, 2017, 20-year-old Dillon Juarez was allegedly killed in a construction accident in Wolfforth, Texas. Juarez was employed with Allen Butler Construction and was working at a site near Highway 62 and Private Road 1320. According to Chief Rick Scott with the Wolfforth Police Department, Juarez fell into the path of machinery and was killed. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into the fatal workplace accident, which is standard procedure.

The Wollford Police Department provided a few details on this industrial accident that took place along Marsha Sharp Freeway. Chief Scott said that police responded to a report of an industrial accident at that location at about 4:03 pm. Police dispatched to the scene found that a fatal construction accident had occurred and the person who died was a member of a paving company crew. Improvements to the Marsha Sharp Freeway were in progress when the tragedy occurred. Scott also said the deceased worker fell into the path of heavy machinery.

OSHA provides safety rules for every industry. Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all employees by taking the recommended measures plus by being conscientious regarding worker safety. Among the OSHA rules are details about safe operation of heavy machinery and guidelines intended to keep workers in the vicinity of heavy equipment safe. OSHA’s investigation into this fatal on-the-job incident will include evaluations regarding whether or not such safety guidelines were being followed at the time of the incident.

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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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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Contractor Cited by OSHA Following Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 9

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Extensive scaffolding on a building in downtow...

Extensive scaffolding on a building in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. (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.

Using Scaffolding Safely – Continued

The following are more guidelines regarding how to use scaffolding safely:

  • Platforms and areas near scaffolds must be clear of unneeded equipment and materials, debris, and anything else that could be a tripping hazard.
  • Never climb off of the end frames of scaffolding. Use access ladders to get on and off of scaffolding.
  • In snowy weather, clear platforms of snow and ice before using them. Apply sand to wet planking, to establish sure footing.
  • Do not move a rolling scaffold when someone is on it.
  • Do not use a rolling surface if the surfaces are not level. Also, when not in motion, lock caster breaks.
  • When moving rolling scaffolding: Secure all loose materials and make sure the route is free of overhead obstructions and holes.
  • When working from suspended scaffolds, needle beam scaffolds, or floats, each worker should use personal fall protection equipment tied off to an anchorage point from a deceleration device and/or lifeline.
  • Protect safety lines from welding or burning.

The three steps which OSHA says will prevent fall fatalities are: planning to perform jobs safely, providing the correct fall protection equipment, and training workers to use equipment safely. Learn more about them and the above-referenced OSHA citations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8 of this nine-part series.

–Guest Contributor


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Contractor Cited by OSHA Following Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 5

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

A ladder. Ladder and telegraph pole.jpg. Can y...

A ladder. Ladder and telegraph pole.jpg. Can you help me climb the ladder? No double meanings, I am just being a regular joker. 😀 — Nearly Headless Nick 12:17, 16 January 2007 (UTC). (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.

Using Ladders Safety

Employers should make sure workers have the correct type and size of ladder for the work to be done. Ladders should be used to go from one level to another, except when there are runways, ramps, or stairways. Ladder safety tips follow:

  • Straight ladders should be long enough that side rails extend at least 36 inches above the top support.
  • Unless barriers are also set up, ladders should not be set up in areas where there are walkways or doorways, where people will be prone to run into them. The area at the top and base of a ladder should be kept clear. For instance, do not create obstructions with hoses, ropes, or extension cords.
  • Never attempt to increase the height of a ladder by propping it on boxes, barrels, or other materials.
  • Do not try splicing two ladders together, to create more height.
  • Set ladders on solid footing against a solid support.
  • A stepladder should not be used as a straight ladder.

The three steps which OSHA says will prevent fall fatalities are: planning to perform jobs safely, providing the correct fall protection equipment, and training workers to use equipment safely. Learn more about them and the above-referenced OSHA citations in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Texas Lawyer – OSHA Cites a San Antonio, TX, Construction Co. for Safety Violations After a Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 3

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Cologne Cathedral: Construction of a new suspe...

Cologne Cathedral: Construction of a new suspended scaffold on the northern side of the northern steeple. (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.

The following are OSHA’s allegations of safety violations against Longhorn Contractors with regard to the Live Oak worksite:

Unstable objects were allegedly used as a working platform. Specifically, on or about August 27, 2015, a worker standing on a chain being used as a guard rail on a field-designed platform elevated by a rough-terrain forklift was exposed to a fall of about 9 feet in height to the ground level below as he was installing plywood on a commercial building. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $4,620.

OSHA cited Longhorn Contractors with regard to an alleged repeat violation of using scaffolds on a construction site that had not been designed by a qualified person and were not loaded and constructed in accordance with that design. More specifically, it was found on August 27, 2015, that an employee installing plywood to a commercial building was exposed to a fall height of about 9 feet to the ground below when he was using a makeshift scaffold platform. The scaffold, which was elevated with a JLG Telehandler, lacked a mid rail and had a top rail with more than 3 inches of deflection. The employer had previously been cited for the same alleged violation. The proposed penalty for this alleged repeat violation is: $9,240.

Learn more about the OSHA citations that Longhorn Contractors received in December of 2015 in Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Attorney for Huntsville Work Accidents – OSHA Cites 2 Employers Related to a Worker in an Unprotected Trench in Conroe TX – Part 7

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Late roman pit. Archaeological excavation shot

Late roman pit. Archaeological excavation shot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released findings from a June investigation of North Texas Contracting Inc. and K&S Contractors. The inspection was initiated by a report that employees at a Conroe, Texas, worksite were working in an unprotected trench. North Texas Contracting was fined $59,100; and K&S Contractors was fined $6,800. Steve Devine, acting OSHA area director in the Houston North office, said that it puts a worker’s life in serious and immediate jeopardy when exposed to trenching hazards.

According to OSHA standards, employers must ensure that trenches are inspected daily by a competent person before workers enter, to ensure that excavation hazards are eliminated before employees arrive. A competent person is defined as an individual who is capable of identifying the following:

  • Predictable and existing hazards or working conditions that are dangerous or unsanitary.
  • Soil types.
  • Protective systems appropriate for the job and the soil type.

The person must be authorized to take corrective measures promptly, in order to eliminate the conditions and hazards that are threatening the safety of workers.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this continuing series to learn more. In the next segment, learn more about trenching hazards and OSHA requirements regarding the protection of employees against those dangers.

–Guest Contributor


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Texas Attorney – A Worker is Seriously Injured in a Trench Collapse: Employer is fined $423,900 – Part 7

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

English: Two ATLAS wheeled hydraulic excavator...

English: Two ATLAS wheeled hydraulic excavators on a German construction site. A trench is being excavated with protective trench shielding. Left foreground: a clamshell bucket. Français: Deux pelles hydrauliques sur roues ATLAS, sur un chantier en Allemagne. Excavation d’une tranchée blindée. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Hassell Construction Co. Inc., of Richmond, Texas, for 16 alleged safety violations, including six alleged willful violations that have been classified as egregious. Each of the alleged willful violations involved excavation.

OSHA’s General Excavation and Trenching Rules:

  • All heavy equipment must be kept away from the edges of trenches and excavations.
  • Any other sources which could affect the stability of a trench must be identified.
  • Keep spoils or excavated soil and other materials at least 2 feet away from the edges of the trenches or excavations.
  • Before digging, know where underground utilities are located.
  • When a trench or excavation is deeper than 4 feet, a test must be done for the possible presence of atmospheric hazards, such as toxic gases, hazardous fumes, and low oxygen.
  • At the beginning of each shift, inspect trenches before workers enter them.
  • Following a water intrusion such as a rain storm, inspect trenches.
  • Never work under loads or materials that are raised or suspended.
  • After any occurrence which could potentially change trench conditions, have a competent person inspect the trenches.
  • When personnel are exposed to vehicular traffic, ensure that they wear high visibility clothing or some other type of suitable clothing.

There are various types of protective systems, and employers should choose whichever is best for each situation. Benching, sloping, shoring, and shielding are common types of protective systems for trenches and excavations.

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 OSHA violations cited against Hassell Construction. In addition, learn more about trench safety.

–Guest Contributor


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A Texas Worker is Seriously Injured in a Trench Collapse: Employer is fined $423,900 – Part 2

Friday, September 4th, 2015

English: Construction of railway tracks at Rom...

English: Construction of railway tracks at Roma Street Station, Brisbane, 1912. Views of excavation and construction of railway tracks at Roma Street Station. Small railway trolleys are visible with bundles of sawn timber sleepers nearby. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Hassell Construction Co. Inc., of Richmond, Texas, for 16 alleged safety violations, including six alleged willful violations that have been classified as egregious. More about the alleged violations follows:

  • The proposed penalty for the aforementioned fourth alleged serious violation is $4,500. The following are specific examples which OSHA says were grouped because they each involve related or similar hazards that could increase the potential for a worker to suffer a work-related illness or injury.
    • On February 6, 2015, at Chateau Place and Gulfview Drive, the employer allegedly failed to secure the Chateau Pl road sign. The sign fell into the excavation and exposed workers to struck-by hazards.
    • At 1000 Gulfview Drive, also on February 6, the employer failed to secure the mailbox, thereby exposing workers to struck-by hazards. The same hazard occurred at 902 Gulfview Drive.
  • Another serious violation that Hassell Construction allegedly committed was that a ramp, ladder, stairway, or other safe means of egress was not located in trench excavations that were 4 feet deep or more, so as to require no more than 25 feet of lateral travel for workers. In this alleged violation with a Proposed Penalty of $6,300, the employer failed to use a safe means for access and egress at five different locations, as listed in the OSHA citation.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series to learn more about the alleged OSHA violations cited against Hassell Construction.

–Guest Contributor


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A Construction Worker is Crushed to Death in Fritch, Texas

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

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)

On Tuesday afternoon a fatal construction accident occurred on East Broadway in Fritch, Texas. Fritch Police Department officials say that a worker who was installing fuel tanks at a construction site was crushed to death by a dirt wall and fuel tanks. The accident victim was declared dead at the scene. An investigation into the tragic event is underway, and construction is shut down at the site until it is completed.

Employers have a responsibility to do work in a way that keeps workers safe. Construction sites are fraught with potentially deadly hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides specific guidelines which can significantly lower the possibility of workers being injured or killed on the job.

This fatal accident is an example of the danger of potential caught-in-between hazards. In addition to trench and excavation collapses, the following are more caught-in between hazards:

  • Rigging accidents
  • Rotating equipment
  • Equipment rollovers
  • Maintenance of equipment
  • Unguarded parts

Most of the caught-in between hazards that occur, by a large margin, are excavations. Workers are supposed to be instructed as to the nature of hazards involved with entering a confined space so that the necessary precautions can be taken, including using protective and emergency equipment, as appropriate. Employers must comply with specific regulations which apply to hazardous or potentially hazardous areas.

In an example of a caught-in hazard, an employee was crushed between a concrete wall and a moving machine after the employee starting the machine from the ground controls and it started moving immediately. OSHA identified numerous issues that contributed to the death; read the details in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Two Construction Workers are Injured in a Water Line Accident in Amarillo – Part 3

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

English: Cross scaffolds. The Cross in Beith w...

English: Cross scaffolds. The Cross in Beith wearing a scaffold during the refurbishment with ( partial ) lottery money. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U. S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that there were 291 fatal construction site falls in 2013, and the deaths were all considered preventable. The following are tips provided in a fall prevention campaign sponsored by OSHA:

Plan Ahead

Employers should plan ahead for a safe job when a job entails work from heights, such as roofs, ladders, and scaffolds. The first step is to decide how the job will be done, all tasks involved, and what type of safety equipment is needed to complete each task.

The cost of safety equipment should always be included when calculating the cost of a job. Employers should plan to have the necessary safety equipment at the construction site. A roof job, for example, may involve hazards such as leading edges, skylights, or holes. Personal fall protection arrest systems (PFAS) may need to be provided, for example.

Provide the Appropriate Equipment

Anytime a worker is 6 feet or more above lower levels, they are at a serious risk for death or injury if they should fall. Employers have a duty to protect these workers by providing fall protection and the right equipment for the job. They must also provide the right type of safety gear, scaffolds, and ladders for the job.

There are different types of ladders and scaffolds, and each is appropriate for certain types of projects but not others. Workers should always be provided with the equipment that will allow them to safely complete the job.

Train Workers

Training is an essential part of safety. Falls are prevented by providing workers with the knowledge they need to safely use equipment.

Learn more about construction safety in Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series.

–Guest Contributor


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