On May 29, federal inspectors issued citations for five alleged OSHA safety violations that carry fines totaling more than $130,000 to Irving-based Lindamood Demolition and Texas Cutting & Coring of Round Rock. Two citations were for willfully disregarding workplace safety in connection with an employee’s death last December.
Investigation After Fatal Accident
According to OSHA, the deceased employee was elevating a cement stub weighing approximately 3,400 pounds with a steer skid loader as a co-worker sawed the stub away from structural supports. Investigators concluded that the 25-year-old operator’s death was due to ejection upon impact with a horizontal bar during a 70-foot fall after the steer skid loader tipped over a ramp wall.
Austin OSHA Director Casey Perkins said that supervisors failed to train demolition crews in proper safety protocols, despite working in close proximity to skid steer loaders. Such zones are extremely hazardous because large sections of concrete or moving equipment can easily strike nearby laborers.
Both building subcontractors have collective experience of more than 50 years in the construction industry and nearly 200 employees. That includes almost three dozen workers assigned to the $450-million Texas A & M College Station renovation project where the fatal accident occurred.
Willful and Serious OSHA Safety Violations
OSHA fined Lindamood $56,000 for alleged operation of the skid steer loader with excessive concrete weight that caused visible signs of being on verge of tipping over. The agency also fined Texas Cutting & Coring $63,000 for willfully exposing construction workers to obvious mortal danger of falling concrete and moving equipment.
“Willful” OSHA safety violations carry the maximum penalty for knowingly, voluntarily, intentionally or deliberately indifferent disregard for workplace health and safety. Both companies also received citations for “serious” OSHA safety violations because of alleged failure to correct known work conditions with a high probability of causing severe injury or death.
Have You or a Loved One Been Hurt in a Workplace Accident?
While OSHA fines mentioned above might seem huge to workers injured because of willful disregard for safety laws, no sum of money multiplied several million times can replace human lives. Contrary to popular belief, workers compensation can be inadequate for lifelong pain and suffering due to crippling injury that causes permanent disability.
It is difficult to fathom losing a loved one that is gone forever because an employer failed to exercise reasonable care with safety precautions that can sometimes even cost less than a day’s wages. Burial expenses, medical bills and loss of a family breadwinner’s income quickly become a big financial drain that worsens severe emotional strain of those left behind to face a lifetime of grief and sorrow.
If you have dealt with injury or loss while on the job and believe that the damages are beyond what worker’s compensation will cover, contact Attorney Group for Texas. We can help you understand your legal rights in your particular situation, and connect you with an affiliated attorney who can help you file a lawsuit against the appropriate party. Contact us today for your free consultation.