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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 ‘Pennsylvania’

Work Accident Attorney Fort Worth – OSHA Increases Maximum Penalties against Employers for Alleged Safety Violations

Friday, January 19th, 2018

English: Logo for the United States Occupation...

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

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency that enforces federal health and safety requirements in the workplace. Inspectors investigate employee complaints and visit companies after serious or fatal illnesses or injuries have occurred. The inspectors impose proposed penalties for the different kinds of violations. On January 2, 2018, the Department of Labor announced an increase in the maximum penalty amounts for violating OSHA safety regulations and standards.

The following are DOL Penalties, before and after the latest changes:

  • The maximum penalty allowed for “serious” and “other-than-serious” is now $12,934. Previously, it was $12,615.
  • The penalty for repeated or willful violation of child labor standards that result in the death or serious injury of a minor changed from a maximum of $111,616 to a maximum of $113,894.
  • The per violation penalty of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act rose from $20,111 to $20,521.
  • There was a very small increase in per willful violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act’s posting requirement, from $166 to $169.
  • The maximum fine for repeated or willful violations is $129,336, up from $126,749. In 2016, much more significant changes were made. For example, the willful or repeated violation maximum penalty rose from $70,000 to $124,709.

The maximum fines are not always imposed. Employers in small businesses typically get a size discount. Employers with a record of prior compliance with OSHA receive a reduction for their good history. Businesses that are cooperative during OSHA inspections also get credit, for acting in good faith. Maximum penalties are more likely imposed against a large employer when a fatality has a occurred or as a result of a history of OSHA safety violations.

–Guest Contributor


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A Construction Worker was Killed by a Dump Truck in Pasadena, Texas, near San Jacinto College

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Heavy equipment (construction) – a Caterpillar...

Heavy equipment (construction) – a Caterpillar bulldozer, a Volvo dump truck, and a Liebherr excavator (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, a worker was allegedly struck and killed by a dump truck in Pasadena, Texas, at a construction site close to San Jacinto College. The truck had been backing up for the purpose of dumping a load of dirt, authorities say. The incident is still under investigation, and no further details were released. Several people in Texas have been killed by heavy equipment at construction sites this year and perhaps more, since not all workplace accidents make the news.

  • Earlier this month near Poth, Texas, a construction worker from New Braunfels died after being struck by heavy equipment at a construction site.
  • On September 2, a 38-year-old man was killed in a construction accident close to Georgetown, Texas. A grader, which is heavy equipment that flattens surfaces, struck and killed the man as he was installing gas lines.
  • In March of this year, a worker at a Carrollton, Texas, construction site was run over and killed by a heavy equipment construction vehicle.
  • In February, a piece of heavy equipment that was being moved killed a 43-year-old worker out of El Campo when it suddenly broke loose from the crane and fell to the ground.
  • In January, a worker was killed at a construction site when he got caught and crushed between two pieces of machinery. Also in January, a worker was struck by a truck in Hutchins, Texas.
  • In another tragedy in January, a 19-year-old woman was killed at a Bexar County, Texas, construction site when a digger was dropped on her as she was at the bottom of a 15-foot hole.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers are safe in workplace environments. Obviously, special care should always be taken when people are working around heavy equipment.

–Guest Contributor


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A Company out of La Porte, Texas, is Cited for Trenching Hazards – Part 5

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Romano celtic temple reduced in phase to occup...

Romano celtic temple reduced in phase to occupation level at 56 Gresham Street, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently cited Angel Brothers Enterprises Ltd out of La Porte, Texas, for the sixth time since 2009. In five of those six inspections, the company was cited for allowing employees to enter a trench or excavation that was unprotected. The company is currently facing $70,000 in proposed OSHA penalties.

Hazards of Excavation and Trenching Continued

The following are more safety considerations to protect workers in an excavation:

  • Employers must protect employees from loose soil or rock that could roll or fall from an excavation face by installing protective barricades at appropriate intervals, scaling to remove loose material, or using other equivalent methods of protection.
  • Employers must enforce or institute work rules which prohibit workers from working on faces of benched or sloped excavations at levels above other workers unless the workers at the lower levels are provided with adequate protection from the hazards of sliding, rolling, or falling equipment or material.
  • Employers must establish and enforce work rules which prohibit workers from working or standing under loads being handled by digging or lifting equipment.
  • Employers must require workers to stand at a distance away from vehicles being unloaded or loaded, in order to protect them from being struck by any falling materials or spillage.

Workers must be provided with safe means of access and egress. Ladders, ramps, steps, or other safe means of egress must be provided to workers in a trench excavation 4 feet deep or deeper, according to OSHA standards. Workers must be no further than 25 feet laterally within the trench from the means of egress.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 to learn more about the dangers of trenching and excavations in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Help with Work Injury – A Company out of La Porte, Texas, is Cited for Trenching Hazards – Part 4

Friday, May 20th, 2016

By September 2005 excavation for the basement ...

By September 2005 excavation for the basement of what was to become NAB House and part of the Darwin Chinatown development was underway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently cited Angel Brothers Enterprises Ltd out of La Porte, Texas, for the sixth time since 2009. In five of those six inspections, the company was cited for allowing employees to enter a trench or excavation that was unprotected. The company is currently facing $70,000 in proposed OSHA penalties.

Hazards of Excavation and Trenching Continued

Sloping is one of the systems employers use to protect employees from hazardous cave-ins in an excavation. No matter what type of soil exists in an excavation, the following sloping system creates a safe environment for workers: Slope the sides of the excavation to an angle no steeper than one and one-half. In other words, the trench must be excavated back 1½ feet for every foot of depth.

Other protective systems are benching, supporting the sides of the excavation, or placing a shield between the work area and the side of the excavation.

The following are more safety considerations to protect workers in an excavation:

  • Equipment and materials that could pose a hazard by rolling or falling inside the excavation must be at least 2 feet (0.61 meters) from the edge and/or a retaining device should be used that prevents equipment or materials from rolling or falling into an excavation.
  • A warning system should be used when mobile equipment is operated next to an excavation or when such equipment must approach an excavation’s edge and the operator does not have a director or clear view of the edge. Examples of such warning systems are barricades, stop logs, and mechanical or hand signals.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 to learn more about the dangers of trenching and excavations in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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A Lubbock, TX, Company Faces $50,400 in Proposed OSHA Penalties – Part 6

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Electrical busbars within power distribution r...

Electrical busbars within power distribution rack for a large building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected Breedlove Foods Inc. in Lubbock, Texas, on October 16, 2015, after an employee’s hand was amputated by a feed auger as the worker was cleaning in and around the operating machine. As a result of the investigation, OSHA cited Breedlove for 12 alleged serious violations for a total of $50,400 in proposed penalties.

The following is information about the eleventh and twelfth alleged serious OSHA violations against Breedlove:

Damaged parts that could adversely affect mechanical strength or safe operation of equipment, such as the following, must not be allowed by the employer to be in use:

  • Parts that are bent, cut, or broken; or
  • Parts that are deteriorated by overheating, chemical action, or corrosion.

OSHA alleges that workers at Breedlove are exposed to electrical hazards when the employer fails to ensure that electrical panel boxes are not deteriorated by corrosion at the:

  • Emergency stop control on the Dry Room inspection tables;
  • Potato receiving belt operation panel in the Raw Room;
  • Bin infeed roller conveyor controls in the outdoors Potato Receiving area; and
  • Bin controls in the Raw Room.

The proposed penalty for this alleged serious OSHA violation is: $2,800.

The twelfth alleged serious violation committed by Breedlove is that employees were exposed to struck-by and burn hazards next to bins in the Raw Room while access to electrical panels was blocked by the flume flow control valve mounted on PBC pipe lines. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious OSHA violation is: $2,800.

In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this six-part series, learn more about the alleged serious violations for which Breedlove of Lubbock has been penalized by OSHA.

–Guest Contributor

 


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Work Accident Injury Attorney – A Lubbock, TX, Company Faces $50,400 in Proposed OSHA Penalties

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Landscape of the skyline of Lubbock, Texas tak...

Landscape of the skyline of Lubbock, Texas taken from the shoulder of Interstate 27. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected Breedlove Foods Inc. in Lubbock, Texas, on October 16, 2015, after an employee’s hand was amputated by a feed auger as the worker was cleaning in and around the operating machine. As a result of the investigation, OSHA cited Breedlove for 12 alleged serious violations for a total of $50,400 in proposed penalties.

OSHA’s area director in Lubbock, Elizabeth Linda Routh, mentioned that Breedlove is commendable because of its humanitarian relief efforts, but there needs to be a focus on the health and safety of workers. She said numerous electrical hazards and machine guarding hazards need to be immediately addressed before another serious injury or perhaps a worse accident occurs.

The following is information about the first alleged serious OSHA violation against Breedlove:

The employer allegedly failed to furnish employment and a place of employment free from recognized dangers that were causing or likely to cause serious physical harm or death to workers in that employees working around augers were exposed to amputation hazards. More specifically, employees of Breedlove were performing cleaning work around the blancher feed by an auger that was not provided with an emergency stop on or about October 15, 2015, and were allegedly exposed to amputation hazards. One feasible and acceptable means of abatement includes installing an emergency stop switch or button in according with OSHA standards. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious OSHA violation is: $7,000.

In this continuing series, learn more about the alleged serious violations for which Breedlove of Lubbock has been penalized by OSHA.

–Guest Contributor


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A Brownsville, Texas, Frozen Seafood Distributor Faces $155,000 in OSHA Penalties – Part 14

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

English: Old Brownsville City Jail in Brownsvi...

English: Old Brownsville City Jail in Brownsville Texas. Listed on the NRHP. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted a programmed-targeted inspection beginning on July 23, 2015, at Rich Products Corp., Brownsville, Texas. As a result of the inspection of the anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system at the plant, citations were issued for 11 serious and three repeat violations. OSHA has also placed the Brownsville company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Travis Clark, OSHA’s area director in Corpus Christi, said process safety management is necessary in workplaces like Rich Products Corp. The consequences of an unexpected release of flammable, explosive, reactive, or toxic chemicals in the workplace must be prevented or minimized. Gases and liquids in processes that involve ammonia and other highly hazardous chemicals are included. Safeguards must be in place and ensured by Rich Products, Clark said, to ensure worker health and safety at the Brownsville facility.

The following is information about the third of three alleged repeat violations that Rich Products in Brownsville has been cited for:

The employer allegedly failed to include normal operations in the written operating procedures for each step of the operating phase.  More specifically, OSHA investigators observed on or about July 23, 2015, and at times prior to, throughout the ammonia refrigeration system, that the standard operating procedures were inadequate in that a single oil pot draining procedure was developed for vessels maintained at positive pressure and negative pressure. Rich Products was previously cited for an equivalent standard in a citation issued on May 16, 2012, with respect to a workplace in Brunswick, Georgia. The proposed penalty for this alleged repeat OSHA violation is: $27,500.

In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, and Part 13 of this 14-part series, learn more about the alleged safety violations for which OSHA has cited Rich Products Corp.

–Guest Contributor


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Contract Worker for a Company Headquartered in Texas Dies of Heat Exposure – Part 6

Monday, September 28th, 2015

English: High rise housing construction in Ven...

English: High rise housing construction in Venezuela using aluminum concrete formwork (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited JV Industrial Cos. Ltd., headquartered in Pasadena, Texas, in connection with an alleged preventable workplace fatality. A 45-year-old pipefitter died on the job on March 17, 2015, as he was outdoors cutting pipe while wearing four layers of clothing. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers from heat-related injuries and illness.

The following are more details regarding serious types of heat-related illness and appropriate first-aid measures:

Heat Exhaustion

Treatment for heat exhaustion does not involve immediately calling 9-1-1, as is the case with heat stroke. However, if a worker has heat exhaustion and symptoms worsen or fail to improve within an hour, it is recommended that an ambulance be called or the person be immediately transported to a clinic. The following are symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Headache
  • Heavy sweating
  • Moist, cool skin
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Thirst
  • Weakness
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Irritability

The following are additional first aid tips for treating a person with signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Bring the person to lie down or sit in a shady, cool area.
  • Give the worker a cool beverage to drink, preferably water.
  • Use ice packs and cold compresses to cool the worker.
  • The worker should not return to work on the same day that he or she suffers from heat exhaustion.

Heat Cramps and Heat Rash

Less serious heat-related illnesses are heat cramps and heat rash. They require first aid. Learn more in this ongoing series.

See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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An El Paso, Texas, Manufacturing Company Faces $321,000 in OSHA Fines – Part 2

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

English: Forklift truck Português: Empilhadeira

English: Forklift truck Português: Empilhadeira (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a news report about D&D Manufacturing in El Paso, Texas, which provides information about $321,000 in proposed penalties against the company for alleged violations which place workers at risk.

The following are some of those alleged violations:

  • On an inspection visit that took place from January 1 through January 15, 2015, OSHA reports that Toyota forklifts had been altered with an extra job-made counterweight designed for a NISSIAN forklift. The finding led to an alleged serious violation of altering industrial trucks with extra parts not provided by or approved by the manufacturer. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $6,930.
  • During the January OSHA inspection, D&D Manufacturing allegedly did not use the tonnage and stroke requirements for metal stamping production in the warehouse and productions areas. In addition, the employer allegedly did not have the characteristics recorded and on hand for the die setter. This is one part of a grouping of alleged violations with a proposed penalty of $6,930. The other parts follow:
    • The dies used for metal stamping production were allegedly not stamped to show upper die weight when it was needed for air counter balance pressure adjustment.
    • Where handling equipment became overloaded, dies used for metal stamping production were allegedly not stamped to indicate die weight.

Learn more about the citations related to workplace safety made against D&D in Part 1 and this ongoing series. The next segment will detail an alleged willful violation with a proposed penalty of $69,300.

–Guest Contributor


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Work Injury Attorney / Abogado – An El Paso, Texas, Manufacturing Company Faces $321,000 in OSHA Fines

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

English: Loaded yellow forklift.

English: Loaded yellow forklift. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a news report about D&D Manufacturing in El Paso, Texas, which provides information about $321,000 in proposed penalties against the company for alleged OSHA violations which place workers at risk.

According to OSHA area director Diego Alvarado, Jr., the manufacturing company continues to place workers at risk with dangers they are aware of. OSHA alleges that the company has committed one repeated, four willful, and six serious OSHA violations, along with two other violations. The following are some of those alleged violations:

  • One alleged serious violation is that unauthorized personnel have been allowed by D&D Manufacturing to ride on industrial trucks. For example, OSHA alleges that employees acted as a counter balance for heavy loads on forklifts by standing on the back of them. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is: $6,930.
  • Another alleged serious violation against D&D is that loads being lifted by forklifts exceeded the vehicles’ rated capacity. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is also: $6,930.
  • During an inspection by OSHA, the tires on Toyota forklifts in warehouse and production areas were allegedly cracked and missing large pieces of rubber. OSHA has cited D&D for the alleged penalty of failing to remove from service powered industrial trucks that are defective, in need of repair, or in some way unsafe. The proposed penalty for this alleged violation is also: $6,930.

Learn more about the citations related to workplace safety made against D&D in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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