Texas has one of the worst records in the United States for workers injured on the job. There are lot of causes of injuries on the job and we cover the most common causes of Texas workplace injuries in this episode.
Justin Hill: Welcome to Hill Law Firm Cases, a podcast discussing real-world cases handled by Justin Hill and the Hill Law Firm. For confidentiality reasons, names and amounts of any settlements have been removed. However, the facts are real, and these are the cases we handle on a day-to-day basis.
Justin Hill: San Antonio is a city full of blue-collar workers. There’s a lot of hardworking people in San Antonio that work in dangerous jobs. Because of that, we get called from a lot of people or their family members that have cases that involve injuries on the job or incidents where somebody has lost their life while working. We get a lot of calls about whether this is normal, what did the employer do or not do that they should’ve done, what the injured party could’ve done to help prevent this.
Oftentimes, we’re asked questions by our clients if we think they did something wrong. More often, we get clients that tell us that they had repeatedly told their employers and their bosses about some danger or some safety equipment or some need that was not met. What we see more often are workers who are very conscious of their safety and the safety of their co-workers. They want a safer work environment. They want the best equipment, and they want to all be held to that high standard to make sure nobody got hurt.
We see the normal on-the-job injuries that track what the state and the federal government says are the most common on-the-job injuries. The National Safety Council actually did a breakdown on what the most common cause of work-related injuries are. They broke it into three categories, and the first being overexertion and bodily reaction. This includes things such as physical effort that leads to some injury, lifting, straining, stressing.
This also includes repetitive motion. Some jobs necessarily require the worker to be in a position to where they have repetitive stress or strain or vibration put on their body. These are the most common causes, according to the National Safety Council, and that makes sense. People hurt themselves lifting and straining and pulling and pressing.
The second most common cause of injuries on the job were slips, trips, and falls. This includes different types of incidents where the worker maybe catches themselves, but injures themselves while catching themselves, falling from high objects, falling down objects such as stairs. This also includes incidents where structures collapse.
We spoke recently about a case where we had a roofer who was roofing a patio structure, and the whole structure collapsed under him. He suffered very serious leg injuries– leg injuries that were so bad that he probably won’t work again. This also includes people that are jumping trying to avoid a fall. People that attempt to catch themselves sometimes harm themselves while doing that.
The third most common leading cause of work-related injuries listed by the National Safety Council are contacts with objects and equipment. This includes things like a moving object striking a worker, whether it can be an I-beam being lifted by a cable on a crane, a vehicle, a forklift. We’ve seen all of those examples in our own office. This includes a worker striking against an object or equipment. It would include being kicked or pushed or pulled into a piece of equipment.
We’ve also seen incidents such as a worker’s body being squeezed or pinched or crushed between equipment, shifting objects, or falling objects. People that work in dangerous industries where there are large pieces of moving equipment are much more susceptible to these types of injuries. We’ve also seen incidences in which a worker is injured as a result of friction or pressure between the person and some source of injury.
Maybe somebody isn’t crushed or squeezed, but just the friction or pressure they’re put under can cause very serious injuries. Something we see and hear of more often than one would think are incidences in which somebody is in a falling or collapsing structure, whether it’s a building or a trench.
There’s lots of safety precautions that workers are supposed to follow and employers are supposed to mandate when workers are working around structures that could collapse or fall or shift. One thing we do know is that Texas doesn’t have a great track record on worker safety. Here in San Antonio, we have a lot of workers that work in dangerous industries. Because of that, we continue to represent injured workers, and we will continue to do so.