San Antonio Legal Blog

OSHA requires appropriate hard hats in the oil fields

People who are working in the oil fields of Texas should have the appropriate personal protective equipment. Some of these are optional, and workers may purchase these items themselves. Others, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide. One of these is appropriate head gear.

There are specific dangers that oil and gas extraction employees may face, and OSHA has standards for hard hats that ensure that these hazards are mitigated. An oil field worker in particular faces the risk of a head injury due to struck-by, caught-in and caught-between accidents. In fact, for every five deaths in the oil fields, three are caused by one of these accidents. The standard for head protection in oil fields is CFR 1910.135.

Driver flees the scene after striking and dragging skateboarder

Skateboarding can be a fast and fun way to get from point A to point B in San Antonio, but just like pedestrians, skateboarders are vulnerable to vehicles when they leave the sidewalks. When they ride against traffic, keep to the sides of the road and cross at intersections or crosswalks, they reduce the chances that a careless driver will not see them. Unfortunately, not every driver acts responsibly while behind the wheel.

A recent hit-and-run accident involving a skateboarder in San Antonio was witnessed by many people, including the victim's boyfriend. He had been skateboarding with her when a car struck her and dragged her for several feet. He attempted to get the driver to stop, but the vehicle kept going. The incident, which happened during daylight hours, was caught on video, and this helped San Antonio law enforcement find the driver. 

Appealing a denied workers' compensation claim

After an on-the-job injury in Texas, our team at The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C., understands the strain that dealing with the workers' compensation system may cause for someone who is hurting. Your situation may become even more difficult if your employer or its WC insurance company denies your claim. You do have options for appealing that decision, though.

The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation explains that first, you need to speak to the insurance claims adjustor for your case. It may be that you can resolve the dispute with one phone call. However, you do not have to stop there if you are denied again. The TDI-DWC provides you with a further chance to resolve the issue at its local office through a benefit review conference. An attorney may be present at any and all parts of the dispute resolution process.

Who should pay for your commercial vehicle accident?

Commercial vehicles are a crucial part of the American and Texas economies. Trucks and other large vehicles transport goods across the country, but in addition to the important role they play, truckers and commercial drivers have a special responsibility as well. These drivers are particularly responsible for driving safely around smaller, more vulnerable vehicles.

Larger vehicles can cause significant and extensive damage when they collide with regular passenger vehicles. Mistakes and negligence committed by truckers or commercial drivers can cause serious injury, even death, but victims may seek to hold liable parties accountable through a personal injury claim. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident or commercial vehicle accident, you could have a rightful claim to financial compensation.

Reporting workplace injuries for workers' comp and OSHA

Workers in Texas should be protected from injuries, illnesses and fatalities on the job. State and federal agencies are in place to support and protect employees by enforcing employer compliance to safety regulations.

According to Chron.com, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration gathers information about specific types of workplace accidents. Although workers' compensation insurance companies also collect data on employee injuries, their uses of the statistics are different.

What does research say about truck driver health?

You may have a hard time staying healthy if you work long hours or sit for hours at a time at your job in Texas, or if you have trouble sleeping. The truck driver next to you may be going through the same struggle. As Science Daily points out, most over-the-road truck drivers suffer from these circumstances and more. However, their health may be directly linked to their job performance - and your safety. 

This information comes from a study of the medical records and crash histories of over 49,000 truck drivers. Researchers were looking for ways that health could affect the risk of truck crashes. For example, past studies have shown that diabetes can affect driving performance. Low back pain, heart disease and high blood pressure are also linked to poor driving.

Hazards associated with fracking

People with experience in operations using hydraulic fracturing to extract oil from the shale deep beneath Texas are probably familiar with some of the risks everyone on the site is exposed to. According to Safety+Health magazine, these dangers are causing some concern for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

People who are newer to the job have a much higher risk of death. In fact, more than half of the on-the-job deaths in the industry are workers with less than one year of experience. The hazards for these short-service workers can be addressed and mitigated by programs that help transition them into their jobs. 

Examining the dangers of eating while driving

Enjoying a cup of coffee on the way to work. Grabbing a burger while on the go. These are activities that many in San Antonio do every day while driving. Yet at the same time, these same people would likely not dare to drink and drive or even talk on their cellphones while behind the wheel. That is because it has been engrained in their head that such activities either impair their ability to drive or take their attention away from the road. So does eating, however, yet few view it as posing a risk. 

Information compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says otherwise. It's study findings (as shared by the website Drive-Safely.net) show that eating while driving can increase one's chances of being in an accident by as much as 80 percent. Many may doubt such an assertion due to the assumption that eating has become so second nature that it requires little to no thought. After analyzing the many different forms of driving distractions, however, one might think otherwise. 

Return-to-work procedures benefit employers and injured workers

When you are injured on the job in Texas and you are unable to perform your regular work duties, you and your employer both suffer. We at The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C., have often provided counsel to people who have not fully recovered yet, but are eager to return to work.

The Texas Department of Insurance's Division of Workers' Compensation notes that a longer period out of work for an injury typically will make it harder for you to re-enter the workforce. Being unable to perform your regular duties may not mean you are completely disabled, but if you cannot step back into your job, your employer may expect you to stay at home. However, your mental and physical health are likely to be better if your time spent with a total disability is shortened. Many employers may choose to facilitate a transition for injured workers by creating a program that allows employees to do work they have been medically approved to do during their recovery. 

Is your work-related back pain a cause for concern?

As someone who works in the Texas oil drilling industry, you likely find your job fast-paced and exciting. You may enjoy the feeling of tiredness after a hard day's work, and you may also feel a sense of pride in the work that you accomplish. Though your job may seem fulfilling, you likely understand that it also poses considerable safety risks.

Even if you, your co-workers and your employer take the necessary safety precautions, you could still find yourself involved in work-related accident. For instance, if you slipped and fell due to a hazard in your work area or tried to lift a heavy load on your own, you could easily suffer a serious back injury.

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