While Texas is known for many great things, it’s beginning to gain a reputation for lax safety standards, particularly in the construction industry. For the last two years, Texas led the nation in workplace fatalities in the construction industry. Many Texas companies have been enrolled in OSHA’s severe violators program, triggering OSHA inspectors to return to their worksites more frequently to ensure safety standards are being met. But how did Texas get to lead the nation in workplace fatalities?
The Fatal Four
Approximately 20% of workplace fatalities come from the construction industry. Of these, the majority construction workplace injuries are caused by the fatal four:
- Falls are the most common workplace accident. Without guardrails or safety nets, any walkway can become hazardous. Working from a ladder or scaffolding can also pose a risk of falling if these items are not properly secured.
- Caught In or Between Accidents occur when a person is stuck between two objects, causing crushing injuries. This can include being caught in machinery, being compressed between shifting objects, or being stuck in a cave-in like trenching.
- Struck By Accidents happen when a worker is struck by an object or piece of equipment. This can include falling objects, moving objects, or even projectiles such as nails from a nail gun.
- Electrocution occurs when an employee is exposed to a deadly amount of electricity. This can happen if the employee is working near live wires or if the job site fails to adhere to basic electrical safety rules. It is the employer’s responsibility to educate its employees on electrical safety.
Texas as a Case Study
With 512 workplace fatalities in 2014, Texas continues to see its workplace death toll rise. Part of the increase is due to Texas economy. Being relatively sheltered from the rest of the economic activity of the US, Texas economic growth saw a need for more construction projects than ever before. In addition, Texas employers are not legally required to provide workers compensation to their employees. The need to meet construction deadlines causes many employers to emphasize getting the job done over completing the job safely.
Get Help With Construction Workplace Injuries in Teas
We protect your rights, handle your case, and hold the negligent parties accountable. In some cases, employers have workers’ compensation insurance, which acts as a bar to a direct lawsuit for damages against an employer. However, workers’ comp nonsubscribers, even if they have private insurance policies, remain subject to personal injury lawsuits by their injured employees to get the compensation they deserve. Let our Texas workplace accident attorneys handle communications with your company, insurance adjusters, and accident investigators. If you or someone you love was injured or a family member was killed on the job, contact us today to hear how Richard J. Plezia & Associates can offer you on-the-job accident injury help.