San Antonio Legal Blog

What are work-related emotional injuries?

When the topic of workplace injuries comes up, most people would think about physical injuries, such as a concussion from falling off a ladder or broken bones from getting one’s hand caught in machinery. You and other Texas residents might not realize that many types of emotional injuries can be just as devastating as physical ones, including impacting your ability to do your job.

Consider, for example, the depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder that can result from working in a toxic environment or being in an accident. As the Mayo Clinic explains, these emotional disorders can affect your quality of life and make it difficult, if not impossible, to perform effectively at work. You might develop a work-related emotional injury in the following ways:

  • Being seriously injured in a workplace accident or witnessing a co-worker’s death
  • Working in a noisy, high-paced or dangerous environment
  • Being subjected to sexual harassment or racial discrimination
  • Experiencing verbal, emotional or physical bullying from a supervisor or co-worker

Oilfield burn injuries are preventable

Workers in the oil and gas industries know they have a dangerous job. In fact, surveys and statistics consistently list oilfield work among the most dangerous jobs to have. If you work in this industry, you have probably seen your share of injuries. Perhaps you have witnessed catastrophic accidents that took the lives of your co-workers.

In addition to falls and struck-by accidents, you must prepare yourself for the devastating possibility of a fire or explosion. Working around combustible materials places you at risk for burn injuries. Burn injuries are among the most painful and tragic consequences of an accident, and taking every precaution to protect yourself is critical to your survival in the event of an accident.

Collision near Edgewood kills three

Many motorists in San Antonio may rest comfortably knowing that if there are any dangers on the road, they are not contributing to them. Nearly everyone relies on some form of transportation; thus, driving cannot be avoided altogether. Defensive driving and cooperation on the part of those traveling on the road can help to reduce the risk of collision, yet the threat posed by reckless drivers can never completely be eliminated. Sadly, it only takes a moment of recklessness on the road to cause an accident that produced devastating consequences. 

recent crash on SH-19 outside of Edgewood reaffirms this fact. A case worker with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services was traveling with three siblings in foster care when her vehicle was struck by a pickup traveling the opposite direction. Authorities believe that the driver of the truck was trying to pass a vehicle in a no passing zone. He and his passenger were taken to a local hospital for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. Sadly, the CPS caseworker and her young passengers were not so fortunate. She was killed, along with the two brothers also in the car. The boys' sister was also severely injured and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. 

How can drivers stay safe on wet roads?

In November, people across the U.S. may see weather conditions deteriorate, with heavy rainfall and colder temperatures that bring snow or ice to the roadway. Driving on wet roads can be very dangerous and some people go far too fast during poor conditions, whether they are late for work or simply do not realize how easy it can be to lose control of a vehicle when roads are slick. It is extremely important to be mindful of the hazards associated with driving on wet roads. Unfortunately, many drivers are in a rush and show no regard for others’ safety.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers should be particularly mindful when operating a vehicle on wet roads. In fact, the risk of a motor vehicle accident can be especially high when roads are slick because oil and water on the road can mix, making it especially slippery. The FMCSA suggests that drivers reduce their speed by 1/3 when roads are wet and that they get off of the road if poor weather conditions prevent them from driving safely.

Understanding oil rig blowouts

Oil rig blowouts occur all too frequently in Texas, and when they do, the result can be catastrophic, both in terms of human death and injury and in property damage. The State of Texas reports that 37 blowouts occurred during the past three years: 21 in 2016, 14 in 2017 and two so far this year.

Petro-Online explains that a blowout occurs when crude oil uncontrollably gushes from a well. The result can be a huge explosion and fire should a minor spark such as that from a cigarette ash ignite the gushing oil.

How can truckers prevent distracted driving?

When spending a lot of time behind the wheel, as commercial truck drivers often do, driving distractions can be even more of a concern. While there are laws in place in Texas that prohibit things like texting and driving, truck drivers and the companies they work for should also take steps to prevent these potentially deadly behaviors. American Trucker offers the following tips in this case, which strive to keep all motorists safe when sharing the road.

Ensure technology is used responsibly

Are you suffering the consequences of oilfield chemical exposure?

If you work in the Texas oil fields, your primary concern will likely be your safety. However, you may not know what precautions to take if your employer fails to inform you of all the potential safety hazards you might face. Some of the most significant dangers are invisible, and they might be your biggest threats.

Along with the known hazards such as excessive noise and confined spaces, your employer must provide training that will teach you how to recognize chemical hazards. These hidden hazards can cause skin conditions and occupational diseases of organs, such as your lungs. Once you can identify chemical hazards, you can also learn what precautions to take to stay safe.

The dangers of speeding

Among all the bad driving behaviors Texas motorists partake in, speeding is perhaps the most dangerous. Numerous fatal accidents involve speeding, as driving over the posted speed limit not only endangers you and your passengers but other drivers as well. The following information illustrates just how deadly speeding can be and what you can do to be a more conscientious driver on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding has been implicated in one-third of all fatal accidents occurring over the last twenty years. In 2016 alone speeding was cited in the deaths of 10,111 motorists. Despite efforts to curtail speeding, many motorists still drive well over the posted speed limit, often citing lateness and traffic tie-ups as the reason why.

Why workers' compensation claims are denied

According to the workers' compensation laws of Texas, workers who become injured on the job and meet requirements deserve compensation in the form of wage loss and medical benefits. However, the process of obtaining benefits is more complicated than the straightforwardness of the law would suggest.

One reason for denial of a workers' compensation claim is that it is unclear if the injury is a result of work-related activities. This is especially true in the case of repetitive-use injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is not enough consistent scientific evidence to establish typing, assembly line work or use of vibrating tools as a direct cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Why proper brake maintenance is crucial for truckers

Due to the enormous heft of commercial trucks, having a reliable braking system is of the utmost importance. When brakes fail truckers are unable to sufficiently stop their vehicles, which can lead to serious injury as well as loss of life. That’s why proper brake maintenance is so important, both for Texas truckers as well as other motorists.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) highlights the importance of brake maintenance with their Brake Safety Week campaign. One needs only to look at statistics to understand why this effort is to vital. It’s estimated that 32.7 percent of trucks involved in crashes had experienced brake issues in the past. That’s why the CVSA advocates regular inspections of commercial vehicle braking systems, which can be used to pull truck with braking violations out of rotation.

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