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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 ‘United Kingdom’

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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21-year-old Worker Recovers from a Serious Workplace Crushing Accident in Denison, TX

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

English: Communications tower near Reed Commun...

English: Communications tower near Reed Communications tower on the ridge between Barkway and reed – believed to be operated by NTL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Denison, Texas, on February 3, 2016, 21-year-old Dylan Herd was performing maintenance on a metal press at his place of employment, Champion Coolers, when his hand became crushed. Emergency responders have since been credited with saving his hand. Herd was initially transported by ambulance to a Plano hospital and was then flown to a Dallas hospital. He has since undergone two surgeries. More surgery is to come, but he is expected to fully recover from the significant injuries he suffered.

Workplace accidents, unfortunately, happen every day. Employers have a responsibility to create a safe working environment. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides safety guidelines that employers are obligated to follow. When things go wrong in the workplace and someone suffers a serious or fatal workplace injury, OSHA does inspections of the work environment and the company where the incident occurred. Among the actions OSHA takes is to study fatal accidents and the circumstances surrounding them to determine whether there were gaps in safety procedures.

From an OSHA FATALFacts report are details about a deadly fall from a telecommunications tower. On a clear, warm day with a temperature of 70°F, a 55-year-old male lost his footing as he was climbing a 400-foot telecommunications tower. The system used to arrest his fall failed and he plunged 90 feet to his death. The safety device consisted of a carabiner, carrier rail, safety sleeve, and body harness. The safety sleeve failed to correctly activate and stop the fall. The chest D-ring ripped out of the body harness during the fall.

Find out the likely causes and OSHA’s concluding report on incident prevention that resulted from the study of this one fatal workplace fall.

–Guest Contributor


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Contractor Cited by OSHA Following Fatal Workplace Fall – Part 3

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

4max

4max (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.

The construction industry is among the most dangerous in Texas, and falls cause more fatalities in the industry than any other type of hazard. Fall prevention is essential because it literally means the difference between life and death for hundreds of workers annually. It is common for construction work to involve tasks performed at dangerous heights. It can take a split second for a worker to fall, which leaves no time to react. Everyone on a worksite is affected when a fellow worker is seriously injured or killed on the job.

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, and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Attorney in North Texas for Construction Accident – New Website Launched for Texas Employer Traffic Safety Program – Part 6

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Deutsch: Cocktail

Deutsch: Cocktail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Texas Employer Traffic Safety teamed up to launch a website at txdrivingconcern.org. Automobile crashes are among the top causes of workplace fatalities in the United States. Employers in Texas alone spend more than $3 billion in costs related to injuries and fatalities on and off the job. The latest information on driving-related concerns are posted on the new website, including on topics such as impaired driving, passenger restraint, aggressive driving, and distracted driving.

The new Texas Employer Traffic Safety website provides the following additional statistics and information about driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), and employers in Texas are urged to share the information with their drivers:

  • The rate of DUI for drivers between 21 and 25 years old is 23.4%, which is the highest rate in any age group.
  • A person is injured in a crash involving a drunk driver every two minutes.
  • The cost of drunk driving to the United States is $199 billion every year.
  • Every 2 in 3 people, on average, will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.
  • Each day in the U.S., 28 people die as a result of an automobile crash involving a drunk driver.
  • In 2013, one person in the U.S. died in a drunk driving crash every 52 minutes, which is a total of 10,076 fatalities.
  • In 2013, 290,000 people were injured in a crash involving a drunk driver.
  • In a massive 2012 survey, 29.1 million people admitted that they had driven an automobile while under the influence of alcohol. That staggering figure is greater than the population of Texas.

Learn more about driving concerns for workers in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Texas Contractors Cited by OSHA after 36-foot fall Kills New Braunfels Construction Worker – Part 2

Monday, October 5th, 2015

English: Ladder Català: Escala de mà

English: Ladder Català: Escala de mà (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the subcontractor and employer Jose Miguel Charles, doing business as Pirul Trim Service, and Blazer Building Inc., the general contractor, of a construction site in New Braunfels, Texas, following a fatal construction accident. A construction worker fell from the fourth floor, 36 feet, to his death at the apartment construction site. Penalties total $47,200.

The following are more details about the citations against Jose Miguel Charles:

An alleged serious violation with a proposed penalty of $2,800 involved several related hazards, such as the following:

  • Workers were allegedly exposed to the hazard of falling from height when they used a wooden trash box as a scaffold for the purpose of relocating materials from lower levels to higher levels.
  • The employer failed to instruct each employee on how to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions or the regulations applicable to his or her environment, to eliminate or control any dangers or other exposure to injury or illness.

With a proposed penalty of $2,000, OSHA alleges that, without manufacturer approval, the employer made additions or modifications which affected the safe operation or capacity of the equipment. Among other things, OSHA specifically alleges:

  • A scaffold was on the worksite and it was not designed by a qualified person.
  • A decal stating to lower or lift personnel only in an approved work platform was located on the quick attach end of the boom head before lifting employees.

Learn more about these OSHA citations in Part 1 and this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Construction Accident Attorney: Top Causes of On-the-Job Injuries in Texas and Across the U.S.

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Wide angle view of BJ's Wholesale club in VA.

Wide angle view of BJ’s Wholesale club in VA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using data from the National Academy of Social Insurance and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a list was created that ranks the leading causes of workplace injuries that occurred in 2012. Workers as well as employers can benefit from the information, as a way of reducing the number of workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities. All employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their employees, including preventing known health threats. Learn about the leading workplace injuries below and in this continuing series.

Overexertion

Overexertion is the leading cause of workplace injuries in the U.S. Overexertion injuries are usually associated with pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, holding, or throwing. Other types of bodily exertions are the fifth leading causes of injuries. Those exertion injuries include reaching, bending, climbing, twisting, crawling, stepping, kneeling, standing, walking, and sitting. The most common exertion injuries involve carrying, holding, or lifting.

The following are specific examples of how overexertion injuries occur:

  • In retail stores, repeatedly stooping, bending, and reaching overhead when placing and retrieving merchandise on shelves.
  • Improperly lifting, carrying, or moving merchandise. Bending should occur at the knees, not at the waist, to help prevent injuries.
  • Manually lifting objects that are heavy, particularly 50 pounds or more, without the aid of a mechanical lifting device or the assistance of a co-worker.
  • When repetitive work that can result in overexertion injuries is not approached with the benefit of taking frequent short breaks.

There are ways to reduce the risk of overexertion injuries. Learn more about how to reduce exertion risks as well as other leading causes of workplace injuries in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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