Building Collapse At Old Bethlehem Steel Plant Causes Injuries to 9 Workers

May 5, 2014 in the Old Bethlehem Steel Plant became the latest building to collapse during demolition. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the collapse of this historic building and reported that 9 workers were injured when the roof came down.  According to CBS Baltimore “MCM Management Corp. is handling the demolition and tells WJZ “they’re investigating the incident and are focused on the recovery of the nine workers.”

In 2012 the steel mill, which once employed tens of thousands of Baltimoreans, shut down. Ever since, buildings on the site are being torn down. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) lists the following procedures before and during demolition.

·         Preparatory OperationsBefore the start of every demolition job, the demolition contractor should take a number of steps to safeguard the health and safety of workers at the job site. These preparatory operations involve the overall planning of the demolition job, including the methods to be used to bring the structure down, the equipment necessary to do the job, and the measures to be taken to perform the work safely. Planning for a demolition job is as important as actually doing the work. Therefore all planning work should be performed by a competent person experienced in all phases of the demolition work to be performed.

·         Engineering SurveyPrior to starting all demolition operations, OSHA Standard 1926.850(a) requires that an engineering survey of the structure must be conducted by a competent person. The purpose of this survey is to determine the condition of the framing, floors, and walls so that measures can be taken, if necessary, to prevent the premature collapse of any portion of the structure. When indicated as advisable, any adjacent structure(s) or improvements should also be similarly checked. The demolition contractor must maintain a written copy of this survey. Photographing existing damage in neighboring structures is also advisable.

·         Utility LocationOne of the most important elements of the pre-job planning is the location of all utility services. All electric, gas, water, steam, sewer, and other services lines should be shut off, capped, or otherwise controlled, at or outside the building before demolition work is started. In each case, any utility company which is involved should be notified in advance, and its approval or services, if necessary, shall be obtained.

·         Medical Services and First Aid - Prior to starting work, provisions should be made for prompt medical attention in case of serious injury. The nearest hospital, infirmary, clinic, or physician shall be located as part of the engineering survey. The job supervisor should be provided with instructions for the most direct route to these facilities. Proper equipment for prompt transportation of an injured worker, as well as a communication system to contact any necessary ambulance service, must be available at the job site. The telephone numbers of the hospitals, physicians, or ambulances shall be conspicuously posted.

·         Police and Fire ContactThe telephone numbers of the local police, ambulance, and fire departments should be available at each job site. This information can prove useful to the job supervisor in the event of any traffic problems, such as the movement of equipment to the job, uncontrolled fires, or other police/fire matters. The police number may also be used to report any vandalism, unlawful entry to the job site, or accidents requiring police assistance.

·         Fire Prevention and Protection - "fire plan" should be set up prior to beginning a demolition job. This plan should outline the assignments of key personnel in the event of a fire and provide an evacuation plan for workers on the site. 

More information regarding Building Demolition can be found on OSHA’s website at https://www.osha.gov/doc/outreachtraining/htmlfiles/demolit.html

Further questions can be directed to the Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by emailing the lead personal injury lawyer, Majed Nachawati at mn@fnlawfirm.com, or by calling our office at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Construction Violations Can Be Fatal

Recently in New York a 34-year old construction worker fell 13 stories to his death at a Manhattan construction site. The Department of Buildings said there were more than three dozen open violations at the site. The first violation listed the man was not wearing a harness.

Fall protection is important because falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls.

Accidents that occur at construction sites are often caused because of violations like the following:

·         Failure to safeguard persons or property

·         Failure to report accidents

·         No record of daily inspections of suspended scaffolding

·         Work that doesn’t conform to approved plans

·         Failure to provide approved plans

·         Failure to provide guardrails

·         Failure to provide protection

The most frequently cited standards can be found on the United States Department of Labor’s website here.

Legal Commentary

In this situation, the most pertinent legal matter to pursue is a civil case. From a civil standpoint, our firm has represented numerous victims and families who suffer from workplace accident tragedies. The family of this victim should consult with an attorney to file a suit against the responsible party. The family does not want to be burned by unexpected costly medical expenses or suffer from a loss of income. A successful civil claim will enable the victim’s family to cover any costs, or expenses. If you or a loved one was affected by an incident like this, contact the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by sending an email to mn@fnlawfirm.com or by calling our office at 1.866.705.7584.

About the Author

Majed Nachawati is a preeminent personal injury lawyer with a focus on representing victims and families involved in automobile accidents, workplace accidents, wrongful death cases, and product liability claims throughout the state of Texas. Mr. Nachawati has resolved numerous workplace motor vehicle accident cases through trial and settlement that have brought seven and eight figure confidential reward settlements. His is on the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas. He is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas and Arkansas and is licensed in the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas. Mr. Nachawati is a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Board of Directors for Public Justice, a Leader’s Forum and PAC member of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Texas Monthly Magazine for the past five years in a row for legal excellence, in connection with wrongful death and products liability cases. Mr. Nachawati is also a member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Mr. Nachawati can be contacted by mn@fnlawfirm.com or by calling 1.866.705.7584.

Crane Kills Worker in Occupational Accident

A construction worker in a Houston suburb died yesterday when the metal form of a crane tilted, then broke loose, trapping him underneath. During the accident, a metal strut struck the worker on the head, killing him. The worker, just 28-years-old, was the unintended victim of a construction tool that failed in its obligation to protect him, resulting in his tragic and unnecessary death.

 

Workplace accidents cause injuries, often referred to as “occupational injuries,” every day. Thousands of Americans suffer annually from the effects of poorly designed products, improper supervision, and a host of other negligent acts. Want to know more about occupational injuries? Fears | Nachawati can answer all of your questions and help you decide how to move forward. For a free consultation, call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com. We’re ready to help you!

Capsized Recreational Boat Raises Concerns About Quality of Construction

Yesterday, a Coast Guard helicopter saved the lives of father and son sailors, plucking them out of Galveston Bay after their 18-foot pleasure boat capsized unexpectedly. Fortunately, Richard Rasmussen and his son, Robert, survived their two-hour ordeal in choppy water because they wore their lift preservers. 

 

The surprise rolling of the Rasmussen’s vessel raises important questions about the quality of the boat’s construction. In 2010, the Coast Guard identified more than 4,500 recreational boating accidents involving nearly 700 deaths, more than 3,000 injuries and $35.5 million in property damage. In many of these accidents, poor construction played a significant role in causing injury and death!

 

If you’re concerned about the seaworthiness (or lake-worthiness) of your boat or if you are involved in a recreational boating accident this summer, contact the personal injury experts at Fears | Nachawati. With years of experience handling all types of injuries, we’re prepared to help you! For a free consultation, call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com. Put our expertise to work for you.

Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion Kills One, Injures Seven

A worker was killed and seven others injured when a faulty gas pipeline exploded recently near the Johnson-Somervell county line. The explosion was caused when James Robert Neese, an employee of C&H Power Line Construction Co., used a high-pressure digger to drill a vertical hole and, in the process, pierced an underground pipeline with his auger. A report by the Texas Railroad Commission concluded that the explosion and ensuing damage resulted from the pipelines owner’s – Enterprise Products – failure to adequately mark the buried line in violation of the Texas Utilities Code.

Oil and natural gas pipelines cross much of Texas, including in heavily trafficked, urbanized areas. Unfortunately, accidents are all too common and, in many cases, cause serious injury and death. If you work in the oil and gas industry, you may be exposed to these dangers. If you’re injured in your work, workers compensation may not be enough. Talk to the personal injury experts at Fears | Nachawati today for full understanding of you case. For a free consultation, call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com. We’re ready to help you!

Who is liable for my construction accident?

A single construction project could involve dozens of professionals, contractors and companies. As a result, when a worker is injured in a construction accident, there are numerous different people who may be liable. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the people and/or entities responsible for the construction accident could include:

·         Property owners

·         General contractors

·         Sub-contractors

·         Engineers

·         Designers

·         Architects

·         Equipment or material suppliers

·         Construction managers

·         Safety consultants

In some cases, more than one party could be responsible for your construction accident. There are also times when the at-fault party is not immediately obvious. Every case is unique, and liability will depend on factors such as contractual agreements, legal duties and the circumstances surrounding your accident.

It is important that you identify all potentially liable parties from the outset of a personal injury lawsuit so that you do not lose your ability to seek compensation from them. A lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine who is at fault for your injuries.

If you have been injured in a construction accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today. We provide construction accident victims with free legal advice. To receive your free consultation with a Texas personal injury lawyer, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Causes of construction accidents

Causes of construction accidents vary depending on the type of job, the work environment and the equipment used in the course of the victim’s daily work. While there are numerous causes of construction accidents, there are certain types of on-the-job accidents that Texas personal injury lawyers come across on a regular basis.

 

One common cause of Texas construction accidents is faulty equipment due to regular wear and tear. After a while, equipment simply needs to be replaced or repaired due to the strain of daily use. Workers can be seriously injured on the job if they are using worn-out tools and equipment. Equipment needs to be serviced regularly to ensure that it is safe for use on the job.

 

Falls are another frequent cause of workplace injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Safety, falls accounted for 15% of all workplace fatalities in 2007. General research indicates that falls account for one out of every three construction accident deaths. The most common type is a worker falling from a roof, but faulty scaffolding is another frequent cause of falls in the workplace.

 

Other causes of construction accidents include:

 

  • Electrocution
  • Asphyxiation
  • Lack of proper training
  • Fires or explosions
  • Heavy machinery accidents, such as cranes and forklifts
  • Faulty safety harness
  • Welding accidents
  • Trench collapses
  • Falling objects
  • Failure to comply with OSHA safety standards
  • Exposure to caustic chemicals
  • Holes in the floor
  • Compressed gases
  • Lifting heavy objects

Sadly, many Texas construction accidents could have been avoided through basic safety measures. However, employers sometimes fail in their duty to provide their employees with a safe work environment. In these cases, the injured worker is sometimes eligible to bring a personal injury lawsuit and/or pursue a worker’s compensation claim.

 

If you have been injured in a construction accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice on whether you have a personal injury claim. Email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

Dallas Cowboys' indoor practice facility collapses

If you have any questions regarding reporting requirements or compliance with the law, or if you have been injured on the job, call Fears & Nachawati for a free consultation--1 (866) 705-7584 or email mn@fnlawfirm.com.

From Staff Reports

The afternoon practice at Valley Ranch in Irving ended in horrifying fashion when the roof over the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility collapsed during a thunderstorm.

Rescue personnel are still searching the debris, but initial reports put the number of injured at six to 10 people.

Mayor Herbert Gears said one person was in critical condition.

At least four members of the team's support staff were taken to the hospital, according to a Cowboys spokesman.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said special teams coach Joe DeCamillis suffered a neck injury and was taken to an area hospital by ambulance.

"He was moving his hands, and he was talking," Phillips said before leaving for the hospital.

Phillips said a couple of players suffered minor injuries.

The bubble roof of the facility collapsed about 3:30 p.m. as a violent thunderstorm unleashed heavy rain and winds

First the indoor lights started shaking, then chaos broke out as the roof collapsed and players, coaches, reporters and team personnel scrambled for safety.

The National Weather Service recorded wind gusts in excess of 60 mph near Valley Ranch around that time. There’s no indication that a tornado touched down, weather service meteorologist Daniel Huckaby said.

“When you are talking of winds in excess of 60 mph, it can certainly cause damage,” Huckaby said. “They can easily be as strong as a low-end tornado."

Duane Witzowski, who works at a gas station a block away from the facility, said powerful wind gusts pummeled the area for a few minutes starting around 3:30 p.m. The wind tore branches from trees, knocked down signs and nearly uprooted a gasoline pump at his Valero station, Witzowski said.

“It felt like we were the middle of a tornado,” he said.

He said a steady stream of fire engines and ambulances were still arriving more than an hour afterward.