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Texas Construction Worker Severely Injured After Company Violates Law

Several safety violations were recently discovered at a construction site in Texas run by Cotton Commercial USA Inc. Specifically, despite previously requesting safety equipment, a worker without fall protection fell 12 feet through a roof, resulting in hospitalization for severe injuries.

Following the incident, Cotton Commercial waited three days to report the injury (whereas federal law requires reporting within 24 hours). In total, the company was fined for seven violations, four of which were considered to be “willful egregious.” These violations included:

  • Failure to provide fall protection for workers;
  • Failure to promptly report hospitalization of an employee resulting from workplace incident; and
  • Failing to train employees in the use of fall protection and ladders.

Gardia Construction, which provided the workers for the company, also received a citation for a serious violation—failing to conduct regular inspection of the job site itself. In total, the companies were fined close to $367,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Hazards in the Construction Industry

According to OSHA, nearly 6.5 million people work at hundreds of thousands of U.S. construction sites each day, and the fatal injury rate is higher than any other industry. Potential hazards for these workers include:

  • Falls;
  • Injuries related to trenches or scaffolds collapsing;
  • Being shocked (electric and/or arc flash/arc blast);
  • Injuries related to failing to use proper personal protective equipment; and
  • Repetitive motion injuries.

The Law

OSHA standards mandate certain general safety and health provisions and personal protective equipment for the construction industry. This includes foot, head, hearing, eye, face, and respiratory protection, as well as safety belts, lifelines, lanyards, safety nets, and fall protection, amongst other requirements (depending upon the specific site and work being done there).

Employers are also supposed to train each worker so that they know what equipment is necessary, how to put it on and adjust it, its limitations, and proper care and disposal of the equipment.

On construction sites, the most frequently violated standards involve:

  • Scaffolding;
  • Fall protection;
  • Excavations;
  • Ladders;
  • Head protection;
  • Hazard communication; and
  • Electrical issues.

Legal Options

If you are a worker who has been injured on a construction site, you may be able to file to receive workers’ compensation (to cover any injury you suffered at work), depending upon whether your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. If not, you will likely need to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your injuries.

Call Us Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one suffered an injury on a construction site, our lawyers are here to help and make sure that you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.

While a majority of our cases are resolved through highly favorable settlements before trial, we continue to prepare every case as if it will go to trial. This approach ensures that we are always prepared to turn down inadequate settlement offers and proceed to trial, where our lawyers remain undefeated. Contact Zehl & Associates today.