Harrison Ford is in the news this week, not for his accomplishments as an actor, but rather for a broken leg and other injuries he got while filming 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ouch!
During filming in the U.K., Ford’s leg was broken on the set of the infamous Millennium Falcon. The production company just pled guilty to two breaches of the U.K.’s Health and Safety at Work Act. The government department responsible for workplace safety matters called the on-set injury “a foreseeable incident.”
Unfortunately, if hero Han Solo can get hurt at work, Houston employees can too.
Does Your Workplace Have Poor Safety Procedures?
In our experience protecting the rights of our clients injured on the job in Houston, there are some red flags that signal trouble at the workplace.
In representing our clients’ work injury cases, we see that construction accidents, industrial accidents and transportation accidents are far too common. You’ll find five warning signs for these industries or types of accidents here. If you’ve seen any of these issues during work, your workplace may be a hazard zone.
1. Missing, Obscured or Disregarded Accident Prevention Signs and Tags
OSHA, the national Occupational Safety and Health Administration, says that any hazards that could cause harm to workers, the public or to property must be marked with a sign or symbol. It has laid out a number of standards for signage and symbols to represent danger signs, caution signs, safety instruction signs, slow-moving vehicles, biological hazards, and other hazardous conditions.
Employees operating in workplaces with accident prevention signs will receive training on how signs can affect them. No training, no signage, ignored procedures? Big problems.
2. Driving Red Flags
Those working in the transportation industry face a number of on-the-job hazards. In fact, the transportation industry is among the top-three industries that see the most injuries per employee, and those injuries require the most time off than any other industry.
It’s easy to see why, considering that night time, distracted, and fatigued driving may be risks of the job.
Texas Department of Insurance’s safety and training resources outline safety procedures for driving in low-visibility, including rain and fog, avoiding distracted driving, and how to drive defensively.
A checklist for assessing the risk of driving at work today includes questions like:
- Are you well rested and relaxed?
- Do you allow yourself plenty of time to get to a destination without speeding or driving aggressively?
- Before getting behind the wheel did you check the traffic, roadway, and weather conditions on your route?
- Are you driving on congested roadways?
Review TDI’s safety resources for the transportation industry for a list of risks that can be lowered with prevention awareness.
3. Disregarded Safety Procedures
In a tragic case of a fatal workplace injury, we recently represented the wife of a man who died as a result of his work in an unsafe environment. Unfortunately for everyone, the accident could have been avoided if the employer adhered to outlined safety procedures.
Our interviews uncovered that machines were being run out of line with safety procedures. It was clear from the OSHA investigation that the machine he was operating was being run in a dangerous manner that was known to the employer. In interviewing other operators at the company, our lawyers found that all machines were run in this unsafe manner. Safety procedures should never be ignored.
Wondering how to select the best on-the-job injury lawyer in Houston? Read the questions to ask when choosing a personal injury lawyer.
4. Construction Zone Dangers
In our infographic on the Hard Facts about Workplace Injuries, overexertion and falls top the list of most common workplace injuries.
The Texas Department of Insurance’s Safety Training Resources for the Construction Industry has safety videos and written material for work from asphalt to welding.
For work in construction zones, OSHA has standards for high visibility safety apparel, procedures for setup, maintenance, and inspection of work zones and devices. It also has outlined training programs for those working in around traffic, streets and highways and procedures for emergency response.
5. Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Does your employer have workers’ compensation insurance? It’s legal for them to forgo it, but you should know you still have legal protection as an employee.
In Texas, companies can choose to opt out of the worker’s compensation coverage for work-related injuries. When a company decides to withhold the protections of the workers’ compensation laws for its employees, state law allows injured workers to bring claims against their employer if they are injured as a result of work. Here we explain workers’ compensation insurance and workplace injuries in further detail.
Our office has defended the rights and obtained financial retribution for our clients, and we can help if you or a loved one has been injured on the job in Houston. We don’t get paid unless you win.
Contact us online or call us at 713-221-6800 any time.