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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 ‘Los Angeles’

A Crane Falls, Killing a Contract Worker for a Port Arthur, Texas, Refinery

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

English: A tracked construction crane in Waita...

English: A tracked construction crane in Waitakere City, New Zealand, on a construction site for the railway line improvements. This appeared to be for the new bridge over the nearby creek. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 13, 2017, a contract worker was struck by a crane that fell over on him as he was working for Motiva Enterprises, a Port Arthur, Texas, refinery. He died from his injuries. The worker was employed with Newtron Beaumont, an electrical and instrumentation contractor located in Beaumont, Texas.

Employers have a duty to ensure that employees and contractors have a safe work environment. Specific safety guidelines for all industries are provided by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Following fatal workplace accidents, it is standard procedure for OSHA to conduct a safety inspection and an investigation into the deadly incident that occurred. As applicable, the company will usually be cited for specific safety violations and fined for the amounts pre-determined by federal guidelines.

Construction crane accidents have become a major focal point in some areas where fatal crane incidents have been alarmingly frequent. According to the 2017 Rider Levett Bucknall Crane Index, the three cities in the U.S. with the most cranes in operation are Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Construction booms are generally positive economic signals. At the same time, there needs to be increased focus on safety. With more cranes actively working at construction sites, there is also greater potential for crane-related accidents.

Although there is currently a push for deregulation from the Trump administration, OSHA continues with updates in safety guidelines related to crane safety. New criteria will be identified that employers need to follow for the purpose of ensuring that crane operators are fully qualified to safely operate cranes on construction job sites.

A loss prevention safety expert, Ray Master, said that crane accidents are at the top of the list of potentially catastrophic incidents at construction sites.

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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2 Workers Die in Separate Workplace Accidents; OSHA to Investigate

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

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. Foreground: a clamshell bucket. Français: Deux pelles hydrauliques sur roues ATLAS, sur un chantier en Allemagne. Excavation d’une tranchée blindée. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week at least two workers in the U.S. were killed in on-the-job injuries, and investigations about each incident are underway. In San Diego County, California, a 51-year-old man was killed when a concrete wall collapsed, crushing him. In Gilbert, Arizona, a 34-year-old steel worker died on the job after being struck in the head by a steel beam. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will conduct investigations, and citations for safety violations could follow. Whenever OSHA releases results of safety violations, all other businesses in the U.S. in the same or a similar industry are responsible to become familiar with and abide by any new OSHA requirements that pertain to them.

The Arizona accident occurred at about 7:40 a.m. on Monday, April 3, 2017. After the man was struck by the steel beam, paramedics arrived on the scene, applied treatment, and transported him to a trauma center nearby, where the worker soon died.

The fatal workplace injury that occurred in California also happened on Monday. The 51-year-old man had been digging a trench for a new wall at an auto dealership when an existing cinderblock wall fell on him. Firefighters worked for approximately an hour and a half to move the rubble. When they reached the worker, he had already died. Another worker on the scene suffered mild injuries and was transported to a hospital.

Employers are provided with detailed instructions on how to keep employees safe in virtually any type of work situation. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workplace environments are safe for workers. Texas employers, as in all states, that share either of above-named industries are also responsible to become familiar with related workplace incidents, in order to take recommended actions to avoid similar occurrences.

–Guest Contributor

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A Brownfield, Texas, Employer Faces $83K in Proposed OSHA Penalties

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

English: Logo for the United States Occupation...

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

CPE Feeds Inc. in Brownfield, Texas, was recently issued $83,059 in proposed penalties by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Grain Handling Facilities, an inspection was done of the Brownfield facilities in June 2016. According to the Lubbock area OSHA director, Elizabeth Linda Routh, CPE Feeds has an obligation to protect workers from electrocution, amputation, and grain-handling dangers. A total of 22 alleged violations were identified.

Among the alleged OSHA safety violations committed by CPE Feeds were the following:

  • No handrails on stairwells
  • Lack of guarding on platforms and runways
  • Exposed wires energized with electricity
  • Lack of machine guarding
  • Failing to provide hearing protection
  • Failing to properly store welding cylinders
  • Failure to keep fire extinguishers in designated locations
  • Utilizing flexible cords as fixed wiring

The following are details about alleged serious violations committed by CPE Feeds:

Service rooms, storerooms, passageways, and other places of employment were not kept in orderly, clean, or sanitary condition. OSHA investigators specifically allege that employees were walking in and/or working in production areas that were not kept clean, which exposed them to fire and health hazards. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $2,850.

Platforms and/or open-sided floors four feet or more above an adjacent floor or ground level were not guarded with railings or toe boards where there was moving machinery. Employees engaged in unclogging the pipes and cotton pit were exposed to unprotected falls of heights greater than 4 feet. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation is: $3,563

–Guest Contributor

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Work Accident Lawyer: Houston, Texas, Leads the Nation in Worker Fatalities in 2013

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

English: Houston, Texas, September 17, 2008 --...

English: Houston, Texas, September 17, 2008 — Sargent Stan Parker of the Harris County Sheriff’s office starting the day moving commodity-laden trucks from the Reliance Center Staging Area (RSA) to Points of Distribution (PODs) in the greater Houston area. FEMA facilitates loads of ice, water, and food being delivered and distributed to residents in disaster affected areas. Mike Moore/FEMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A recent report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed statistics showing that Houston, Texas, is the most dangerous place in the nation for workers. The annual report tabulates fatalities and catastrophes, with “catastrophes” defined as major accidents in which at least three workers ended up in the hospital.

With 20 worker fatalities between October 2013 and today, the greater Houston area had the most workplace fatalities. There were many different causes of the 20 fatalities, including drilling machine accidents, truck accidents, boat collision, infrastructure collapses, and electrocutions. There was also an incident at a fortune cookie factory in which a worker became trapped inside an industrial dough mixer.

There were 137 workplace fatalities in Texas in 2013, which is more than any other state. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, however, the rate of construction injuries declined by half in Texas in the past decade. Dallas had less than half the number of fatalities, compared with Houston, at 9. There were 3 worker fatalities in San Antonio last year and 2 in Austin.

The state with the second highest workplace fatalities and serious accidents was the most populous state, California. There were 97 worker fatalities and major accidents in California, 81 in New York, 76 in Florida, and 72 in Illinois.

Here is how Houston compares to the five most populous cities in the nation, as far as number of 2013 workplace fatalities and major accidents:

  • New York City, 7
  • Los Angeles, 4
  • Chicago, 9
  • Philadelphia, 3
  • Houston, 20

Houston is experiencing a construction boom, which may have a lot to do with these dismal statistics. However, there is no valid excuse for failing to provide safety for workers.

–Guest Contributor

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