Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, as stated by OSHA. In 2020 in the U.S., 351 out of 1,008 construction worker fatalities were caused by falls to a lower level. These deaths are preventable. The most frequently cited violations of OSHA safety standards in 2021 were for fall protection in the construction industry.
Chemical plant explosions happen far too often in Texas. Major incidents in recent years include:
- ExxonMobil Baytown refinery explosion on December 23, 2021: Four refinery workers were severely injured.
- Wendland 1H Well Burleson County explosion on January 29, 2020: Three fatalities occurred at the gas well.
- Watson Grinding Houston explosion on January 24, 2020: Two people were killed, and extensive damage was done to nearby property.
- TPC Group Port Neches explosion in November 2019: This incident released more than 500 pounds of particulate matter and more than 1,000 pounds of butadiene, a flammable compound, into the atmosphere.
- KMCO LLC Crosby fire and explosion on April 2, 2019: Fire and explosion at the chemical processing and manufacturing facility caused one death and multiple injuries.
- Tri-Chem Industries Fort Worth explosion and fire in March 2018: One person was killed and two were injured.
Few people are aware of how much they owe the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, this 83-year-old piece of legislature is the bedrock for workers’ rights in America. Without it, employees would still be making pennies an hour, working gruelingly long shifts, and barely bringing home enough money to feed themselves or their families.
A Brownsville man fell off an oilrig and suffered fatal injuries in late February, due to an undisclosed problem with the cabling. While this might seem like a unique and tragic accident, it is actually one incident in a string of many throughout Texas. Working for an oil or gas company in the state has become notoriously dangerous as oilrig and oilfield injuries and fatalities continue to be a frequent problem. Even driving an oil truck has become considerably dangerous as trucking accidents are often reported.
Whether you work in the construction industry or you are expected to sit behind a desk, it is your employer's responsibility to ensure that you are provided with a reasonably safe environment. This means that they must comply with all applicable safety regulations, which generally include those that have been enacted by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, employers must "keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards."
Should they fail to do so, it would be their responsibility to compensate any of the workers that are subsequently injured. Typically, this would be done through a workers' compensation claim, but since this system is elective in the state of Texas, the employer may be personally liable for providing damages.