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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 ‘Texas’

A 66-year-old Man is Killed in a Heavy Equipment Construction Accident Near Poth, Texas

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Southeast of San Antonio and west of Poth, Texas, a construction worker was killed earlier this month. According to the employer, 66-year-old Salvador Guillen of New Braunfels was struck and killed in a construction accident involving heavy equipment. Guillen had been involved in the repaving work on 541 near FM 2505 when the fatal workplace accident occurred. The employer in this case is a contract company out of New Braunfels, the Dean Word Company. A company spokesperson expressed sorrow over the tragic incident and said Guillen had worked for the company from 1990 to 2008 and came out of retirement to rejoin the workforce in March 2017.

Other agencies at the scene included the Texas Department of Public Safety. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) will be conducting an investigation of the scene. If safety violations are allegedly discovered, the employer will be subject to fines and penalties.

Back in 20006, OSHA reportedly issued a citation to the Dean Word Company for alleged violations related to accident prevention signs and tags. In 2009, OSHA issued a penalty to the employer for alleged violation of standard excavation requirements.

OSHA provides safety procedures for all industries. The purpose is to help to ensure that employers provide workers with a safe workplace environment. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries. There are many common dangers at construction work sites, and working near heavy equipment is among them. When safety measures aren’t taken, it puts lives at risk. It remains to be seen whether negligence was involved in this tragic workplace fatality.

–Guest Contributor

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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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A Construction Contractor in Southeast Austin is Crushed by a Concrete Slab

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On the morning of Wednesday, August 9, 2017, in Southeast Austin, a construction worker was crushed when a concrete slab fell on him. Emergency crews went to the scene. Firefighters used drills, sledgehammers, and other tools to try to free the man from underneath the 30,000- to 40,000-pound concrete slab. They finally reached the worker, but he was already deceased and was pronounced dead at 10:01 am.

According to Division Chief Palmer Buck of the Austin Fire Department, the preformed concrete panel was going to be used for a parking garage that was being built. It wasn’t known at the time the fatal workplace accident occurred how the worker became trapped underneath the concrete slab.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an investigation, as it does anytime there is an on-the-job fatality. Conclusions and news of any proposed penalties for alleged safety violations are usually published several months after an OSHA inspection.

According to OSHA statistics, every year, more than 4,500 workers die in the workplace.  The following are a few of many details from the 2015 OSHA report on fatal occupational injuries by industry, event, or exposure:

  • The total number of workplace fatalities in the U.S. in 2015 was 4,836.
  • The total number of fatalities in the construction industry was 937.
  • In the construction of buildings, 175 workers died.
  • Total number of roofing contractors that died was 87.
  • A total of 167 building equipment contractors suffered fatal on-the-job injuries.
  • In the manufacturing industry, 353 workers died.
  • In the utilities industry, 221 people were fatally injured.

Employers have a duty to keep workers safe on the job. OSHA provides detailed safety guidelines on countless workplace activities. Construction is one of the most hazardous industries to work in.

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

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

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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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Investigation into Deadly Roadway Construction Incident in Amarillo, Texas, Continues

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

English: Afghan construction workers work on a...

English: Afghan construction workers work on a road construction project in Mahmood Rahqi, Afghanistan in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tragedy occurred in a road construction work zone the morning of June 10, 2017. The 16-foot flatbed trailer that was attached to a pickup truck became detached, rolled at a fast pace through a construction site, and crashed into road crew members and paving equipment. Three of the workers died and two workers were injured. Not all details have emerged, because of the pending investigation. For instance, no comments have been made with regard to whether or not the truck driver was following state laws when he hitched the trailer. When asked if safety chains were attached, a spokesperson with the Amarillo Police Department wouldn’t comment about that.

It’s believed that either a pin broke or came loose, causing the trailer to become detached and lose control. The three workers who were killed when the trailer struck the paving equipment were 36-year-old Jorge Noe Catano, 59-year-old Ygnacio Rodriquez, and 63-year-old Julian Zamora. All were pronounced dead at the scene, which was I-40 eastbound east of Whitaker Road. The road construction injuries were suffered by 21-year-old Eddie Erinco and 59-year-old David Huddleston. All of the men were working for J. Lee Milligan, who works with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), doing road work.

Lee Milligan and TxDOT came up with new strategies to improve work site safety in highway construction zones. At the location where the fatal workplace accident occurred, an additional lane on the eastbound side of the highway has been closed. Additional signage was put in place to warn motorists of upcoming road work. In addition, speed limit advisor signs were added.

According to Sonja Gross, TxDOT Spokesperson, each project is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of providing the safest environment possible for workers and the traveling public.

–Guest Contributor

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1 Worker Dies and Another is Critically Injured in an Electrical Accident

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

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)

A fatal workplace accident occurred on Saturday, January 21, 2017, in Lubbock, Texas. At a construction site for a new building, two men were working together when it is believed they made contact with energized lines while drilling into an electrical box. A fire erupted and was quickly ignited. Both construction workers at the scene were burned and had possibly been shocked. They were transported to a nearby hospital, where one of the men died early the next day. The other injured worker is still in critical condition.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will conduct a complete investigation of the employers involved in this fatal workplace incident. It will be determined whether required safety practices were used. Such OSHA rules are designed for the purpose of holding employers accountable when they fail in their fundamental duty to provide workers with a safe workplace environment.

Electrical accidents are not uncommon on construction sites or in other work venues. “Electrical Wiring Methods” was the ninth most frequent type of OSHA violation for fiscal year 2016. There were 1,940 OSHA safety violations in this category. In 2015, there were 464 more electrical workplace violations and this category was the eighth most frequently violated. This was the largest violation decrease in a particular category, which is a very good thing. Obviously, electrical hazards are extremely dangerous.

“General Electrical Requirements” was the category that was tenth most frequently cited by OSHA in 2016, with 1,704 violations issued. This category focuses on proper use and installation of electrical equipment and conductors.

If employers in this tragic workplace accident are found by OSHA to have failed in electrical safety procedures, they will face penalties.

–Guest Contributor


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A Female Construction Worker is San Antonio Crushed by a Backhoe

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017



A 19-year-old woman was killed at a construction site in San Antonio, Texas, when the bucket of a backhoe was dropped on top of her. The shocking workplace fatality occurred on the morning of Monday, January 23, 2017. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the foreman who was driving the backhoe and said he didn’t see the woman was hospitalized, most likely for shock, according to Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Roger Pedraza.

The deceased was a construction worker at the construction site, which is on Potranco Road in the 13700 block. Police were called at about 10:30 am and reported that the woman had been crushed to death by the backhoe.

At least two dozen members of the accident victims’ family went to the site. According to one of the victim’s siblings, her sister had been injured at the construction site the previous week. Allegedly, the same backhoe operator knocked her in the leg with the machine, giving her a bruise about the size of a grapefruit. The sibling also claimed that her sister had complained about lack of adherence to safety guidelines on the worksite.

A construction worker at the scene who has been at the site for about a month alleged that the same foreman involved in this deadly accident was frequently careless on the job, resulting in a lot of broken pipes.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace environment. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be conducting an investigation, prompted by this tragedy. If the employer is found to be in violation of safety guidelines, the company will be cited and will face proposed penalties. OSHA penalties have just been increased for the first time in a quarter century. The new amounts have the potential to seriously impact small businesses, which will hopefully serve to motivate employers to improve worker safety procedures. This tragic construction fatality in San Antonio was allegedly a senseless, preventable act.

–Guest Contributor

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OSHA Proposed $104K in Fines against a San Antonio, Texas, Company

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

The San Antonio (Texas) Downtown

The San Antonio (Texas) Downtown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been since this summer that Bluebonnet Foods L.P. was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 21 alleged serious safety violations, but the citations are worth looking at. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers by providing them with a safe workplace. OSHA Area Director for San Antonio Alejandro Porter said workers at Bluebonnet Foods were exposed to health and safety hazards that should be corrected without delay before employees get hurt unnecessarily. Among the alleged serious violations were that workers were exposed to several chemical, struck-by, amputation, and electrical hazards. In addition, eyewash stations needed to be installed and personal protective equipment needed to be provided. The total in proposed penalties was: $104,000.

Bluebonnet Foods is doing business as Goodheart Specialty Foods Co., and the company employs about 300 people at the San Antonio location. Bluebonnet Foods produces grilled, fried, and slow-roasted meats, sauces and other products for the food service, retail, and food manufacturing industry under their DBA.

The following is specific information about two alleged serious OSHA violations:

Employees who were sanitizing production areas and diluting cleaning products with caustic and corrosive liquids were allegedly exposed to chemical splash hazards without adequate protective coverings such as gloves, aprons, or chemical resistant full body protection. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious violation was: $7,000.

Employees in the maintenance shop were allegedly exposed to a struck-by hazard as they were operating a Porter Cable drill press that did not have a chip guard. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious OSHA violation was: $4,000.

Learn about more alleged serious violations that Bluebonnet Foods was cited for in an installment of this series entitled, “San Antonio Company is Cited by OSHA for Struck-By Hazards and More.”

–Guest Contributor

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A Houston Company is Cited by OSHA for 25 Alleged Serious Violations

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Aerial of the Texas Medical Center, an area in...

Aerial of the Texas Medical Center, an area in the Southeast Houston district. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations with proposed penalties amounting to $106,700 to a Houston-based company on August 1, 2016. La Espiga de Oro Inc. is a tortilla factory located at 1202 W 15th Street in Houston, Texas. The inspection of the company’s facilities was initiated by a complaint regarding unsafe working conditions. Steve DeVine, the assistance OSHA area director in Houston’s North office, said that with 25 serious violations, the company clearly needs to take the responsibility of employee safety more seriously.

Among the 25 alleged serious violations are the following:

  • Amputation hazards
  • Struck-by and caught-in hazards
  • Extreme heat
  • Electrical hazards including exposed energized electrical parts
  • Fall hazards

The following are more details about some of the alleged serious OSHA violations committed by La Espiga:

Appropriate facilities for quick flushing or drenching of the eyes and body were allegedly not provided within a work area where employees were exposed to injurious corrosive materials. More specifically, on or about June 20, 2016, in the elevated area of the Corn Process Room, employees handled corrosive materials without suitable facilities for quick flushing or drenching of the eyes. The corrosive materials allegedly exposed the workers to a chemical burn hazard. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious safety violation is: $4,900.

Each floor hole into which employees could accidentally walk was allegedly not guarded. More specifically, employees were exposed to trip and fall hazards when using a stair landing in the elevated area of the corn process room because there was a hole in the steel grating floor that had not been guarded or covered. The proposed penalty for this alleged serious safety violation is: $2,800.

–Guest Contributor

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