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 AidPrior 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.

 

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.

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 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.

 

According to an Austin, Texas, police search warrant, the scaffolding that collapsed, killing three construction workers was improperly assembled.  The story was previously posted in our blog here

If the claim of negligence is substantiated, then the construction company who put the platforms together could be facing charges of negligent homicide. Criminally negligent homicide is a felony which can result in 2 years of jail time and a fine of $10,000.

The warrant was issued last week, enabling police to seize parts of a mast climber, which is a platform scaffold used by workers to scale the outside walls of buildings. According to the warrant, the device which was seized was constructed by American Mast Climbers of Whitney.

General Metroplex Interiors, the subcontractor hired to handle the building of stucco and frame work, hired American Mast Climbers to install and maintain the scaffolding.

The pieces of scaffolding were seized by investigators in order to determine what caused the equipment failure that ultimately led to the collapse. OSHA investigators, after examining the equipment, informed police that some of the components that made up the mast climbers were faulty. The use of this faulty equipment, says OSHA, may be enough to warrant a charge of criminally negligent homicide.

For more on this Texas construction accident, click here to read the full article.

If you have been injured in a Texas construction site accident, contact us today. To speak with a Texas personal injury lawyer and receive free legal advice about your potential construction site accident claim, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

A construction worker was killed Tuesday morning, June 23rd, when he was run over by a semi-trailer truck at his work site in The Colony.

 

The construction site where the accident occurred was located at the Office Creek Pump Station in the 4100 block of Main Street. The construction worker was first run over by the truck, then dragged underneath it.

 

At the time of the accident, the construction worker was under the truck performing some type of repair. The driver, who was unaware of the worker’s location, began to drive forward and away from the site. Other workers saw the man being dragged and stopped the driver.

 

CPR was performed on the worker at the scene of the accident. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.  OSHA will be conducting an investigation of the incident. No criminal charges are expected.

 

Click here for the rest of the story.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas personal injury law firm representing victims of on-the-job accidents. For a free consultation, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

A construction accident in Austin, Texas, has left three workers dead after a scaffold collapsed beneath them, sending two men plunging 13 stories to the ground.  The victims were working on a high-rise apartment building at 21st and Rio Grande streets on Wednesday afternoon.

The three workers were standing on a piece of scaffolding when it fell from the 11th story of the building, landing on the 7th or 8th story.  The victims are Wilson Joel Irias Cerritos, 30, Jesus Angel Lopez Perez, 28, and Raudel Ramirez Camacho, 27. A fourth man who was also on the scaffold survived. 

As is standard, the accident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The reasons for the collapse are still unknown.  

For more on this Texas workplace accident, click here.

Fears | Nachawati represents workers who have been injured while on the job. To learn more about your legal rights, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us toll free at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

Construction worker Rob Harrell, 34, of Grand Prairie, was killed when a trench wall collapsed at a water tower construction site.Harrell was in the 10-foot trench as he attempted to connect the new water tower to its power source. The fatal accident occurred on the morning of May 6th at the site in Arlington, which is located about two miles from the University of Texas at Arlington. Harrell was an employee of Harrell and Associates, the company which had contracted with Landmark Structures to construct the tower.  The accident is currently being investigated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Details of the report will not be released for at least 6 months.

Continue Reading Construction worker killed in water tower accident

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.