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What Are Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents?

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Scaffolds are common settings for serious and deadly accidents in the construction industry. Although scaffolding is necessary at many construction sites, it can prove highly dangerous for workers and bystanders. In 2017, falls were the leading cause of construction worker fatal injuries, according to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The third most frequently cited OSHA standard violated in 2017 was scaffolding that failed to meet general requirements. Learning the most common causes of scaffolding accidents could help you prevent these tragedies.

scaffolding injury

What Are the Main Causes of Deaths and Injuries on Scaffolds?

Scaffolds are necessary to allow construction workers to reach upper levels of buildings, store tools and materials, and have a stable working surface. It is up to the construction team to construct reasonably safe and stable scaffolds. The employer must train workers in putting together scaffolding and scaffolds according to OSHA’s regulations and industry best practices. Human error is the leading cause of scaffold-related deaths and injuries.

  • Poor scaffold or scaffolding construction. Unsafe scaffolds in their structure could lead to collapses, falls, falling materials and many other disasters. Workers have an obligation to obey all related OSHA laws and industry regulations during the construction of scaffolds. Failure to do so could lead to tragedy.
  • Careless or negligent workers. Overloaded scaffolds, unsafe scaffolding construction, failures at attachment points and other mistakes by employees contribute to many preventable scaffold accidents. All workers must do their parts to maintain reasonably safe scaffolding.
  • Falling objects, tools and debris. Improper securement of objects on a scaffold causes many injuries and deaths. Objects falling and striking workers was the second leading cause of death in construction in 2017, responsible for 112 worker fatalities. All workers should obey OSHA’s object securement regulations at all times.
  • Employer negligence. An employer could be guilty of a lapse that puts workers at risk, such as a lack of training, low-quality materials, no workplace rules and inadequate fall protection. It is generally the employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe workplace for construction workers.
  • Dangerous environments. Environmental conditions can contribute to scaffolding accidents. Rain and sleet, for example, could lead to slippery surfaces and fall accidents from scaffolds. Toxic gases in the work environment could also harm employees while working from scaffolds.

Identifying the cause of a scaffold accident, injury or death could point to someone else’s liability for damages. If an individual or company negligently contributed to the accident, that party could be financially responsible for a victim’s losses. Defendants in scaffold accident claims can include construction companies, employers, product manufacturers, contractors and property owners.

How Can a Scaffolding Accident Be Prevented?

In one Bureau of Labor Statistics study, almost three-fourths (72%) of employees injured in scaffold accidents stated their injuries occurred due to planking giving away, slip and fall accidents, or falling objects. These are all preventable hazards with due care and attention to detail in the workplace. If every construction site supervisor and worker obeyed safety regulations and worked with caution, far fewer scaffolding accidents would occur. Reducing human error would save lives in the construction industry.

  • Properly training construction workers in how to erect scaffolding
  • Providing all appropriate safety gear and fall protection
  • Following OSHA’s scaffolding construction standards
  • Taking enough time to properly construct a scaffold
  • Obeying all laws related to tool/material securement
  • Inspecting scaffolding/scaffolds regularly for defects
  • Replacing old, worn-out or broken scaffolding materials

Safety regulations are in place for a reason. An employer should never encourage workers to cut corners or skip steps during scaffolding construction to save time or money. Workers should obey all scaffold-related rules in their construction and usage. Doing the responsible thing by obeying OSHA standards and workplace safety protocols could prevent scaffolding disasters. If a scaffold accident does cause injuries or deaths, victims or loved ones may bring civil claims against one or more parties for negligently causing or failing to prevent the catastrophe. A construction accident lawyer can help plaintiffs with these claims in Texas.

Posted by admin at 5:51 pm

4 Texas Work-Zone Laws Drivers Should Know

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Work zones are highly dangerous environments for drivers and workers alike. The state relies on roadside construction work to improve its roads, but this is one of the most dangerous jobs in Texas. In 2018, 25,162 work zone traffic accidents in Texas took 161 lives and caused 684 serious injuries. Most people killed (84%) were drivers and their passengers. As a driver passing through work zones in Texas, it is critical to understand and obey the state’s work-zone laws. Otherwise, you could cause a serious accident.

Reduced Speed Limits

If a construction company has put up temporary speed limit signs, they take precedence over previous speed limits in the area. As a driver, you must obey the temporary speed limit signs posted in the work zone, even if the speed is much lower than what it usually is on the road or highway. Most work zones also have signs explaining that the police will double the fines for speeding in these areas to discourage this dangerous practice. Work zone speeding tickets in Texas can cost up to $1,000 when workers are present.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says speeding is one of the top causes of work zone crashes throughout the state. It has established a 65-mile-per-hour speed limit within one mile of construction zones along State Highway 130. Speeding can make it impossible to stop in time to prevent colliding with barriers, work vehicles or workers. Always reduce your speed to within the posted limit and according to what is safe for driving conditions while in a work zone.

Move Over Law

Texas has a Move Over/Slow Down Law that applies to TxDOT workers as well as emergency vehicles as of September 1st, 2013. This law requires all drivers to either move a lane over or reduce their speeds when approaching roadway construction zones, TxDOT workers, and all vehicles stopped by the road with flashing blue or amber lights. If you see TxDOT workers on the side of the road, you must move a lane over or slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. On roads with speed limits of 25 or less, reduce your speed to 5 miles per hour. Violating the state’s Move Over Law in a work zone could lead to a fine of up to $2,000.

Detour Signs

Many work zones organize detours around the part of the road being worked on. Like work zone speed limits, these detours take superiority over any preexisting roadway signs, road paint or markings. You must follow detour signs and barriers carefully when passing through work zones in Texas. Ignoring detour signs could lead to you driving dangerously close to an active work zone or workers doing their jobs. Reduce your speed, pay attention and prepare to use a detour to safely navigate through or around a work zone.

Distracted Driving Laws

Aside from speeding, driver inattention is the leading cause of work zone crashes in Texas. Driver distraction and inattention can lead to drivers missing detours, ignoring speed limits, tailgating, causing accidents and striking workers. As a driver, it is imperative to obey Texas’ distracted driving laws. The state’s cellphone ordinance makes it illegal to text and drive. No driver may send or receive electronic messages using handheld cellphones. Drivers under the age of 18 cannot use cellphones for any reason. Local cities may have additional driver distraction laws to follow as well. To learn about Texas’ distracted driving laws and accidents, speak to a distracted driver accident attorney in Dallas.

Distracted driving causes thousands of car accidents, deaths and injuries per year in the U.S. Work zones are highly dangerous places to engage in things that may distract you, such as cellphones, food, drinks, passengers, radios and maps. Work zones require total vigilance to safely navigate through unusual twists and turns. Always dedicate 100% of your attention to the road, especially in confusing work zones when workers are present. Put your phone away and pay attention to the road in work zones to help prevent deadly auto accidents.

Posted by admin at 6:00 pm

What are Common Problems Survivors of Catastrophic Accidents Experience?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Negligence is a common factor that contributes to catastrophic accidents – whether a person drove while using a cell phone, drank on the job, or failed to maintain his or her property. When this happens, the party who caused the damage can be taken to court and sued for outstanding expenses. However, Texas law also accounts for extenuating circumstances, such as loss of companionship or the inability to continue pursuing a career.

The following is a brief overview of the common problems survivors of catastrophic accidents face. If you have more questions or concerns about an injury you have received, contact an experienced legal professional in your area for more information.

  • Long-term physical damage. Catastrophic accidents often lead to paralysis, loss of limbs, severe brain damage, and other complications. For example, internal injuries may require special equipment to keep a person alive or functioning.
  • Long-term recovery. Coupled with physical damage, these victims often must relearn motor skills, such as walking, balancing, or speaking. Additional equipment, such as walking apparatuses or speech assistance devices, is often required.
  • Ongoing medical bills. The initial emergency room bill and related surgeries are likely the steepest charges victims ever face. Sadly, that is just the beginning. Continuing doctor’s visits, physical therapists, and live-in care commonly follow catastrophic accidents – and these are not one-time payments.
  • Loss of consortium. The physical consequences of these actions are apparent, but they affect more than just the victim. A settlement should account for losing the intimate relationship you enjoyed with a spouse or the ability to interact with your child.
  • The inability to return to work. Devastating accidents often keep a person from returning to his or her line of work or pursuing a career goal. Athletes, for example, may never play sports professionally again. Courts account for these types of long-term damages, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure these areas are considered.
  • Home modifications. Hand controls, bathroom modifications, ramps, machines to facilitate access to a bed, and vehicle modifications may be required to return at least some independence to these victims’ lives.
  • Emotional and psychological consequences. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a frequent result of a debilitating accident. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental and emotional consequences may accompany a catastrophe.

The Common Causes of Catastrophic Accidents

A person may encounter a variety of accidents, but most will not warrant a consultation with a lawyer. However, if you or a loved one is hurt in one of the following types of accidents, it is important to seek medical attention and schedule a consultation with a local law firm.

  • Trucking accidents. The trucking industry is tightly regulated, but thousands of fatal accidents still occur on our highways every year. Teamsters and the companies that employ them must diligently track their working hours, truck maintenance, miles traveled, and more. Overlooking or ignoring these details can lead to major damages.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is markedly dangerous. If you are involved with a drunk-driver collision, seek physical and legal help as soon as possible.
  • Workplace accidents. Many workers’ compensation claims are for minor aches and pains, but professional accidents can also be fatal. This is especially true for those in the construction, oil, and logging industries.

Partner with the Right Attorney in Texas to Protect Your Long-Term Care

Catastrophic cases are legally complex by their nature. Several negligent parties may be responsible, from a shift manager to his or her employer, a product manufacturer, or the distributer. This is further complicated when several insurers enter the mix. Victims of major accidents are routinely offered settlements, but failing to scrutinize the terms of these agreements can leave victims with expensive bills that accrue over their lifetime – which the person or organization responsible for the damages does not pay.

Work with a Dallas, Texas, attorney specializing in personal injury law for more information. The team at Aaron Herbert is ready to represent your claim, so contact us for a consultation. We get to the bottom of who is at fault for harming our clients, and we tirelessly explore the full extent of how catastrophic accidents affect these victims over the course of their lives.

Posted by admin at 10:50 pm

Dallas Construction Crane Accident Attorneys

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dallas Construction Crane Accident Attorneys

Crane collapses and other construction accidents involving cranes can be devastating for workers on a construction project as well as for pedestrians and bystanders. When crane accidents occur due to negligence, board certified personal injury attorney Aaron A. Herbert and the team of experienced Dallas construction crane accident attorneys at our firm will step in to hold negligent workers, contractors and property owners responsible and obtain compensation for injured workers and their families.

Improper Construction Crane Use Causes Serious Accidents On Dallas Construction Site

Nearly twenty-five percent of construction fatalities are attributable to crane accidents. Advances in technology in the last twenty years has made construction cranes capable of moving faster, extending farther and carrying greater loads, so concerns regarding construction crane safety are more serious than ever before. All workers at a construction site and others in the vicinity are at risk of serious injury or death while a crane is in operation, particularly if a load becomes unbalanced while it is being lifted, or in the event of a crane collapse.

Causes Of Construction Crane Accidents

Crane accidents occur when careful attention is not paid by the crane operator, other workers on the site, or those in charge of planning and executing the operation in question. Crane accidents are often attributed to the following circumstances:

  • Crane is not set up properly
  • Planning and coordination of the construction operation is inadequate for safety
  • The crane is operated outside the safety parameters set out by the manufacturer
  • Improper maintenance, modification or negligent repair Improper maintenance, modification or negligent repair
  • The area surrounding the crane operation is congested
  • Clearances are insufficient to complete the lift
  • Pinch points are left unguarded
  • Outriggers are improperly extended
  • The crane selected for the job is inadequate considering conditions at the jobsite
  • The crane selected is inadequate for the load requirements of the jobsite
  • Power lines, fixed objects and other overhead hazards are not properly considered
  • Crane operator, site supervisor or superintendent is inexperienced or unknowledgeable about safe crane operation

Common Construction Crane Accident Injuries

There are both physical and psychological scars after a construction crane accident. Some of the most common injuries associated with construction crane accident injuries are as follows:

Dallas Construction Attorney Board Certified In Personal Injury Trial Law

Texas board certified personal injury attorney Aaron A. Herbert and our team of highly accomplished and experienced Dallas Construction Crane Accident Attorneys have extensive experience and a proven record of results in cases involving life-changing personal injury. We can sit down with you and discuss your options for seeking maximum compensation for the harm you or your loved one has suffered due to an the negligent operation of a construction crane or other construction accidents. Call us now for a no-cost consultation. We will fight to protect your rights, and we give you the personal attention your construction accident case deserves. Time to file is limited, so contact us now.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 9:15 pm