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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 ‘OSHA’

3 Tower Workers from a Texas Company Die in an Equipment Collapse in Miami Gardens, Florida

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

English: BT Radio Tower

BT Radio Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, a fatal on-the-job accident occurred in Miami Gardens, Florida. Three men working for Tower King II out of Cedar Hill, Texas, were working on a television transmission tower. The piece of equipment they were on collapsed as they were at the top of the 1,000-foot tower. All three men fell to their deaths.

The gin pole is an apparatus that is used when a crane can’t reach high enough for a job that needs to be done. A gin pole was attached to the tower these men were on. According to authorities, the apparatus somehow separated from the tower, causing the three workers to fall. One of the deceased is the son of the man who owns Tower King II.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is conducting an investigation, which is standard after a fatal workplace accident. When workers are injured or die, companies involved in the workplace setting can potentially be held responsible. Employers have a duty to ensure the safety of workers. OSHA provides detailed safety standards for a myriad of potentially risky occupational hazards, and falls are the subject of numerous safety guidelines.

OSHA periodically has campaigns to improve safety in various situations. They have a Fall Prevention Campaign in which statistics are shared. In 2015, there were 350 fatal construction falls, all of which are considered to have been preventable. The 350 deaths were part of a total of 937 construction fatalities that year. Safety guidelines in the OSHA Fall Prevention Campaign include: Plan ahead to get the jobs done correctly; provide the correct equipment; and train everyone to use equipment safely.

–Guest Contributor


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Two Workplace Fatalities in Texas that Occurred in January 2017

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is still giving attention to workplace fatalities and conducting investigations. Evidence of these tragic incidents has been more difficult to come by since January 2017, with a noticeable shortage of press releases. Keeping worker safety front and center in order to prevent on-the-job accidents should always be a priority. What better warning can there be than a death at work? Learn about Texas workplace fatalities that have occurred this year, per OSHA’s Fatality Inspection Data.

The following are a few details on two tragic workplace fatalities that took place in Texas in January 2017:

On January 4 in Rotan, a worker died after being crushed between two pieces of machinery. The Rotan Gin Company was inspected following the deadly incident. Further details are that at about 2:30 a.m. on the day of the tragedy, an employee became caught between the frame and the lifting forks of the up-ender machine as he was operating it. He was crushed and killed.

On January 5 in Hutchins, Texas, a worker died after being struck by a truck. BI Grim Trucking Inc. was inspected after the fatal workplace accident. Details of the accident follow: At about 4:30 a.m., an employee plus another driver transported a trailer for an 18-wheeler to another facility. The trailer was situated in its designated place. The employee was at the back of the tractor truck and was un-attaching an air hose as well as pulling the pin from the tractor. The tractor pulled forward and the employee was struck in the head by the tractor truck and died from his injuries.

After OSHA conducts inspections, one of the goals of the organizations is to consider whether new safety standards need to be put in place, to prevent repeats of fatal accidents.

–Guest Contributor


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Dallas, Texas Work Accident Attorney – August Temperatures in Texas Pose a Risk of Heat-Related Injury to Outdoor Workers in Construction & Other Industries

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for Reuse)

With August 2017 halfway over, the concern for construction workers and others who work outside is not over for the summer. Heat-related illnesses and fatalities can easily occur if proper precautions are not taken in 100-degree weather. The State Senate in Texas considered a bill earlier this year that would have required construction crews to be given a 15-minute break every 4 hours. The bill was never was voted on. Fortunately, many employers are taking precautions to protect workers from the dangerous heat. There is also help from the Department of Labor’s Occupations Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

An app was created by OSHA just for outdoor workers. It’s called the “heat index app,” and it lets you know the feels-like temperature as well as what precautions should be taken, in order to avoid a heat-related injury or a deadly heat sroke.

Construction workers and those in other industries who work outdoors are at greater risk than many may realize, since they are also exerting themselves in the heat. A new worker who hasn’t been working in the heat before is typically given special considerations, since it can take the body a few days to adjust to working in such circumstances.

At an Austin construction company, a manager for Environmental Health and Safety says that each morning workers gather to discuss and identify symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The manager makes regular checks of the crew members throughout high-temperature days, to ensure that the workers are getting plenty of hydration and taking breaks in the shade. In addition, the workers are strongly urged to look out for one another.

National statistics show that 2,630 workers in the U.S. suffered from heat-related illnesses and 18 workers died from heat stroke while on the job in 2014.

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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A 40-year-old Man is Killed in an Oilfield Accident in Navarro County

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, a 40-year-old oilfield worker was killed in an on-the-job incident. According to Navarro County, Texas, Sheriff Elmer Tanner, police were called at about 10:30 a.m. regarding a tragic workplace incident. According to Tanner, police discovered that a pump jack had fallen on a man. The 40-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene by Darrell Waller, Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace. The identity of the deceased wasn’t released initially, so that next-of-kin could be notified; and there have been no further public updates.

The oilfield fatality is under investigation, and no details have been released.

It’s standard procedure for the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to conduct an investigation of companies involved in all workplace fatalities.

Employers have a responsibility to provide safe workplace environments. Oilfield sites are hazardous and one of the reasons is that there is a lot of heavy machinery. The following is more information about oilfield dangers:

  • Struck-by injuries are produced by forcible impact or contact between an individual and a piece of equipment or an object. Common struck-by oilfield injuries include pressurized lines that are improperly secured and sling failures.
  • Vehicle accidents are also common in the oilfield industry. Employers are urged to ensure that their drivers heed speed limits. In addition, they are encouraged to make sure employees don’t drive fatigued.

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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Hurt at Work Lawyer – OSHA Cites 5 Texas Companies for Alleged Asbestos Hazards and More

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

English: The Legacy Tower in foreground under ...

English: The Legacy Tower in foreground under construction at about the 35 floor and The Sears Tower in background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a March 22, 2016, news release, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that five Texas companies are facing a total of $185,000 in penalties for allegedly failing to protect workers from asbestos and other workplace hazards. The multi-family rental property that OSHA inspected and that led to these citations is in San Antonio, Texas, at One Eleven Park Avenue. The companies that have been cited for allegedly exposing employees to work injuries are: One Eighty Construction Inc.; Varco Builders of Texas; Roscoe Properties Inc.; Colors Unlimited; and One Eleven Park. Local developer Jason Berkowitz is the owner of both One Eighty Construction and Roscoe. The latter is a commercial real estate management firm and has 50-plus properties in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

One Eighty Construction has been cited for one alleged serious OSHA violation and one alleged willful violation. Some details about the alleged serious violation follow:

On construction projects, all general contractors are deemed by OSHA standards to exercise general supervisory authority covered in this standard, even though he or she is not a person qualified as the asbestos “competent person” described in the standard. The general contractor must make a determination regarding whether the asbestos contractor has complied with this standard and, as necessary require compliance. OSHA alleges that the general contractor failed to make this determination.

More specifically, on or about October 13, 2015, and at times prior, employer One Eight Construction, functioning as the general manager during renovation of the One Eleven Park Avenue apartments, allegedly failed to determine whether the asbestos contractor complied with the standard and failed to require the sub-contractors to comply with the standard during the removal of flooring material containing asbestos.

Learn more about these citations for alleged OSHA safety violations in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

 


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OSHA Fines a Texas Linen Company in Excess of $125,000

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Bed made up with bed linens with blue and gree...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

company were serious, which means there is a significant probability hazards about which the employer knew or should have known could cause serious physical harm or death.  Serious citations issued included failure to:

  • Provide protection from falls for employers who were working at an elevation of 16 feet
  • Provide an appropriate number of locks and enforcement of lockout procedures during machine servicing in order to prevent injuries from unexpected restart of equipment and machinery
  • Ensure that a fiberglass ladder was set up correctly and used correctly

There are also a number of repeat citations issued by OSAH, including failure to:

  • Cover floor holes
  • Provide machine guards for sprockets, chains, rotating parts, and points of operation
  • Properly identify locks for machine servicing
  • Make portable fire extinguishers easily accessible

In 2008, the same company was fined in excess of $150,000 for more than 40 health and safety violations, including failing to provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to employees within ten days of being assigned to handle soiled health care linens.

–Guest Contributor

 

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Texas Attorney: OSHA Provides the Top Ten List of Recognized Workplace Hazards, Based on 2013 Statistics – Part 1

Friday, November 7th, 2014

BC Place Construction 02

BC Place Construction 02 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a report of the top ten recognized hazards, based on 2013 statistics. The purpose of the report is to highlight the fact that many of the illnesses and injuries which occur in the workplace are entirely preventable.

The following are the top ten workplace dangers, and in the continuing series safety information about each will be highlighted:

  • 1 – Slips, Trips, and Falls
  • 2 – Hazard Communication
  • 3 – Scaffolding
  • 4 – Respiratory Problems
  • 5 – Accidents involving Powered Industrial Trucks
  • 6 – Lockout/Tagout Procedures
  • 7 – Ladders
  • 8 – Electricity and Wiring
  • 9 – Machine Guards
  • 10 – General Electrical Requirements

Fall Protection

OSHA has safety standards which employers are required to follow, including procedures for protection from dangerous falls. The following is a small portion of the information about fall protection:

  • Employers have a duty to evaluate working and walking surfaces to ensure that they have the structural integrity and strength to support employees.
  • If an employee is working or walking on a surface that is at least 6 feet from the ground or above a lower level, a system of fall protection must be in place, such as safety net systems, guardrails, or personal fall arrest systems.
  • Employers should take appropriate actions to prevent employees from the risk of falling through holes.
  • Personal fall arrest systems or any number of other protective actions must be taken when employees are working on rooftops.
  • Employers must also protect employees from falling objects.

–Guest Contributor


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A Poultry Company is Cited for Allegedly Putting Workers at Risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and More

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

English: Untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

English: Untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued 11 citations to Wayne Farms LLC. Proposed penalties amount to $102,600. The investigation leading to the OSHA citations was initiated by a complaint to OSHA.

According to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, workers at the plant suffered serious injuries after being exposed to musculoskeletal hazards and other safety hazards. This investigation in particular highlighted the prevalence of musculoskeletal hazards in poultry plants. Disorders affecting the muscles, tendons, and nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are preventable and yet many workers in poultry plants suffer from these painful conditions.

Prevention of musculoskeletal hazards can be achieved with appropriate administrative and engineering controls in the workplace. A solution for these conditions includes early treatment with medical care aimed at preventing further progression. In this particular plant, however, workers have been required to repeatedly visit with the on-site nurse before finally being referred to a doctor.

According to the OSHA investigation, the company failed to properly manage the medical treatment of injured employees or to record the injuries. The company is also found to have discouraged employees from seeking the needed medical treatment, putting them at further risk for serious injury.

Employers have a duty and responsibility to provide healthy, safe work environments for employees, under the OSH Act.

–Guest Contributor


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A Houston Oil and Gas Company is Cited by OSHA for Alleged Repeat Violations

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Murphy Oil USA refinery spill

Murphy Oil USA refinery spill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced this month that Ensign United States Drilling (S.W.) Inc. of Houston, Texas, has been cited for two alleged repeat OSHA safety violations which expose workers to potential dangers during oil well explosions. The recent inspection took place as part of Upstream Oil and Gas Well Industry in the OSHA Regional Emphasis Program. The deficiencies were previously cited in a 2011 investigation, and proposed penalties amount to $65,000.

In January of 2012 OSHA’s Houston North Area Office conducted an inspection in which the employer was cited for having an obstruction in an emergency escape line’s path. The zip line, also referred to as the Geronimo Line, allows workers to evacuate a well quickly when there is an emergency. The zip line runs from the top of the oil well to the ground. For these violations, the company was fined $13,000.

Failure to abate previous violations places workers at risk for possible oilfield injuries or death. David Doucet of OSHA’s Houston North Office said this type of disregard for the health and safety of workers is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

In the repeat violation involving the Geronimo Line, there were four knots in the line and it was blocked by a rack of pipes. Employees have not had the option of sliding to safety in the event of an explosion or fire.

–Guest Contributor


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OSHA Changes Recordkeeping Rule on Severe Injuries and Workplace Fatalities

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

English: Forklift lifting a van onto a truck, ...

English: Forklift lifting a van onto a truck, Finland Suomi: Trukki nostamassa pakettiautoa kuorma-auton lavetille (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a change in reporting requirements. Reporting requirements of severe work injuries and job-related fatalities have greatly expanded. The changes go into effect on January 1, 2015, and majorly expand the previous rule.

Employers with nine employees or less are no longer exempted from reporting all fatalities, amputations, injuries that involve the loss of an eye, and in-patient hospitalizations. Low hazard industries such as insurance, real estate, service, retail, and finance are no longer exempted from reporting these types of incidents, either.

All employers in the U.S. that are governed by federal OSHA or through a state program that is state-approved are subject to the reporting changes. Most employers are regulated by OSHA, but those that are exempt from the new rule include:

  • Farmers who do not employ outside workers and who work for immediate family members;
  • Workplace hazards which are regulated by another federal agency, such as the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Those who are self-employed.

Under the new OSHA rule, employers must report all work-related fatalities if the death occurs within 30 days from the incident date. Within 8 hours of death, the reporting must be made. Previously, the rule required reporting only in the event that three or more workers died because of a work-related incident.

The reporting requirements have also been broadened to include reporting by phone and by electronic submission.

–Guest Contributor

 


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