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
Industrial Accident Lawyers Available at (888) 493-0401
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.
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