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Trench Collapse Highlights "Lax Safety Culture"

Posted By Arnold & Itkin || 27-Jul-2015

Last week, David Michaels, the head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), fined three Houston-based construction companies for two incidents in which workers were seriously injured. Earlier this year, a worker for Hassell Construction Company was buried in an eight-foot trench that collapsed during an excavation job. When workers frantically tried to dig him out with their bare hands, the trench further collapsed, resulting in serious injury to the buried employee.

A month prior to that, a worker from Gardia Construction was injured while on a temporary job for Cotton Commercial USA. He requested a safety harness but was denied, and while on the job he fell 12 feet through a roof. He suffered serious injury, but unfortunately Gardia Construction does not provide worker’s insurance for its employees.

Texas Claims Exceptional & Unfortunate Distinctions

All three companies received fines that, combined, total nearly a million dollars. Michaels had other comments about the culture that produced such “lax safety standards,” as reported by the Texas Tribune. “More construction workers in Texas die on the job than in any other state,” says Michaels. “Workers are not being given adequate protection.” He went on to comment that there is no excuse for collapsed trenches, citing that humans have known how to prevent trench collapse for 2,500 years.

Perhaps worsening the disturbingly high rate of worker deaths in Texas is the lack of a worker’s compensation requirement for construction companies. Texas is the only state to allow construction companies to operate without worker’s compensation. As a result, less than half of construction firms in the state provide worker’s insurance to employees.

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When someone has been injured in a construction accident, they will need legal representation that can recover the care and compensation required to move forward. Between construction firms and insurance companies fighting for their interests, it is important that the voice of the victim is heard. The industrial injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin can make sure that happens.

If you’ve been injured in an industrial accident, do not leave your life in the hands of other people’s agendas. Contact Arnold & Itkin for experienced legal representation.

Categories: Construction Accident

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