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San Antonio Personal Injury Law Blog

Workplace accidents: Lead exposure led to OSHA citations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration received complaints about lead exposure at a gun range in Texas. The agency endeavors to prevent workplace accidents and injuries or illnesses, and it launched the National Emphasis Program on Lead to address excessive exposure in workplaces. Employers must monitor and address workplace hazards that could threaten the safety and health of employees.

In facilities such as gun ranges, business owners must comply with prescribed safety regulations that include hygiene facilities, respiratory protection, engineering controls, medical surveillance and exposure monitoring. Employers must inform workers of the potential hazards posed by lead and provide the necessary safety training to teach them how to protect themselves. During an August 2018 investigation at the shooting range, compliance inspectors of OSHA found multiple safety violations, for which penalties of more than $214,000 were proposed.

Are speed limiters the remedy for fatal truck accidents?

Sharing the road with large commercial vehicles is intimidating, to say the least. If you were recently injured in an accident involving a big rig, you know that the fear is well founded. Truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, and you may be facing a long, difficult recovery.

It may not surprise you to learn that since 2009, the number of fatalities involving large commercial trucks steadily climbed in most states, reaching nearly 36,000 by 2017. Texas far outpaced most other states in the number of deadly truck accidents. Despite the fact that traffic fatalities overall declined in recent years, trucks continue to kill at a higher rate than other vehicles.

Multiple defective products lawsuits filed against 3M

Thousands of men and women from Texas and other parts of the country serve our nation in the various branches of the U.S. armed forces. They risk their lives every day to protect our citizens at home and abroad. Certainly, military personnel rely on different types of equipment, such as earplugs, to safeguard their bodies while on duty. Unfortunately, several veterans have filed defective products lawsuits against a major manufacturer after the faulty earplugs they used apparently led to hearing loss.

According to reports, 3M Company manufactured and sold earplugs to the nation's military to be used in combat situations. Sales of this product occurred for over a 10-year period. It is estimated that thousands of soldiers used these earplugs during this time frame. The earplugs were used in training situations as well as during active duty.

SAFD warns of space heater safety to prevent house fires

The personal injury lawyers at the Wyatt Law Firm became aware that within the past week, San Antonio Fire Department responded to numerous calls for house fires which causes were directly related to space heaters. Starting on January 20, 2019, a woman and her two pets were evacuated from a house fire when witnesses called firefighters due to seeing heavy smoke engulfing the living room of the home. Firefighters later discovered that a space heater was the cause of the fire. Another major fire occurred on January 23, 2019, where a space heater place inside an outdoor shed caught fire, killed a dog, and melted off the siding of the flame-engulfed shed. The space heater that was most likely priced at under $100 caused a steep $25,000 worth of damage. Finally, the third of many other space heater fires that have plagued the area ignited just before 6 a.m. on January 28, 2019. A 67-year-old man was killed in a house fire in Southwest Bexar County. Authorities discovered that the fire was likely caused by a space heater. The elderly man died from smoke inhalation, and two other family members who resided in the home suffered from severe burns.

Tired drivers cause more accidents than many realize

There are many reasons why car accidents happen on Texas roads and highways. When you consider these reasons, it is likely that distracted driving and drunk driving top your list. Speeding and dangerous road conditions are also common causes for car accidents, but one you may not think about is fatigued driving. 

Fatigue is actually quite dangerous, even though many people get behind the wheel of their vehicles while tired. There is a point, however, when a person is too tired to safely operate a vehicle. Most fatigued individuals do not recognize the risks or signs of extreme fatigue and how it can affect their driving. The results can be serious accidents, injury and death.

Would a hands-free driving law make Texas roads safer?

Distracted driving continues to be an issue that affects the safety of all drivers in Texas. With the rapid growth in technology and the widespread use of cell phones, most people driving have a phone in the car. Many drivers cannot resist the temptation to use their phones while also driving, many believing that they are capable of multitasking safely. 

The result is that distracted driving is now one of the leading causes of car accidents. Drivers of all ages are at risk, and lawmakers and authorities believe that the passing of a hands-free law could help the problem. By making it illegal for drivers to have a phone in their hands, it may curtail the number of distraction-related accidents in the state.

Workers exposed to higher chance of workplace accidents and more

Texas workers have right to work in an environment that is reasonably safe, no matter what type of job they have or industry they work in. When employers fail in their responsibility to keep workers safe by enforcing safety measures, provide training and take other steps, it can lead to a higher chance of workplace accidents and other types of harm. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently fined a Texas contractor $422,006 for various safety violations.

The recent citations against the company came after a worker for RKM Utility Services Inc. died in a trench on a job site in Dallas. His death was the result of dangerous levels of the gas hydrogen sulfide. The citation specified that the company failed to train workers on certain safety procedures when working near this gas and do other things to make workers safe. The gas is both toxic and flammable, which can lead to serious health problems and a chance of an explosion or fire.

Escalator injuries occur more often than we think

Although many consumers nowadays tend to do their shopping via e-commerce, many people continue to shop in-store, more specifically, at shopping malls. Many times, in order to navigate South Texas shopping malls, we must use an escalator. Usually, we expect to step on the escalator and have it take us either upwards or downwards to where we need to go. However, more often than we expect, people do not make it all the way up or down the escalator as a result of the equipment failing or malfunctioning. Scenarios where escalators malfunction can lead to injuries and the need to involve a personal injury attorney such as one from the Wyatt Law Firm.

Signs you may have a brain injury

The signs of a brain injury are not always easy to notice. Whether you slipped, fell or were even involved in a motor vehicle collision, the aftermath of an accident can leave you overwhelmed with post-traumatic stress, and you may only notice any injury symptoms much later.

At the same time, it is important to realize the injuries you may have as soon as possible so that you can seek the medical treatment you need and avoid any further complications down the road. If you have been experiencing physical discomfort and have recently hurt your head in an accident, you may want to review what the common symptoms for either a mild or traumatic brain injury are:

Building fires: Lawsuit filed after fire in condominium complex

Fire safety is of utmost importance to many Texas residents and others around the nation. Homeowners frequently install smoke alarms and have escape plans in place in the event of a fire. Owners of apartment or condominium complexes also often equip their units with sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems and alternate escape routes in the event of building fires. Unfortunately, every dwelling is not adequately equipped with  necessary fire safety measures. A family recently filed a lawsuit against a condominium owners association in another state for the injuries and damages they suffered in a fire at their complex.

In April 2018, a fire started near a light fixture on the second floor of a building in the condo complex. The lawsuit states that this was a common area that was maintained by the condo association and its employees. According to rescue crews that evaluated the scene, the cause of the fire was undetermined. However, documents asserted that the owners should have been aware that the lights had not been properly installed.

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