Causes of Worker Fatalities in Dallas

May 15th, 2019 by Guajardo & Marks, LLP

According to a recent analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration data, 52 workers died on the job in North Texas from Jan. 1, 2017, to Sept. 24, 2018. Many of the people who died work in the construction industry in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area.

In one case, when heavy rains hit last October, a three-story townhome under construction collapsed. Five people went to the hospital with minor to serious injuries, and one man, named Raul Ortega-Cabrera, died.

Construction accidents have ranged from a person falling five stories through a skylight in Celina, Texas, to a worker expiring from heat exhaustion after he worked on a roof in 100 degree heat.

Experts say there are several reasons why the construction trade is generally more risky than other labor-focused industries. Many construction workers work at great heights, and falls are always a major reason for workplace injury and death. Also, construction workers are often exposed to heat, cold and wind that workers in a manufacturing plant do not have to worry about.

Another reason for the high number of construction-related injuries is that these workers do not spend a lot of time just in one place. An employee could spend six months at a job site before going to another, where they must learn the environment all over again.

Experts also note that a deep understanding of how construction workers operate on the job would boost safety. They say it is necessary to understand how these workers adjust and restart themselves when going to a new job site. Also, it is critical to think about how buildings are being built. As technology gets better, it is important to adopt better practices for modularization and prefabrication, which can reduce the amount of work needed to be done on site.

But as the data shows, more work needs to be done to avoid the rising number of deaths and injuries in the construction field.

OSHA Data Shows Penalties Companies Face for Fatalities

OSHA regularly compiles information about how much each company or employer has been fined for deaths in the workplace. For instance, a worker who died in a fall in Dallas from a balcony resulted in a penalty from OSHA for $34,200. But that penalty was later reduced to only $12,600. Of course, it is possible the employer could be sued in civil court in a wrongful death lawsuit by a workplace injury lawyer and the deceased’s family. They could receive compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, loss of income and pain and suffering.

Most construction companies have workers’ compensation insurance because the owner of the project mandates it. But Texas is one of the few states that does not mandate workers’ compensation insurance for all companies. That said, it would be rare to find a construction company that is hiring workers that doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, due to the high risk of injury and death in the field.

Hurt in a Construction Accident? Call Us Today.

If you have been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Please contact Dallas work injury lawyers Guajardo & Marks for a free legal consultation to determine whether you have a solid case. The consultation is at no charge, so please contact us today.