Reports of Fatal Contract Worker Injuries Prompt OSHA Initiative
According to data recently released on fatal work injuries, Texas had the highest number of contract workers killed on the job in 2011. In just that year, 56 contract workers died from on-the-job injuries in our state.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) released the final data April 25, 2013. The CFOI report included for the first time detailed data on contract worker fatalities. Of the 4,693 work-related deaths reported, 542 were contract workers.
Only days after the release of CFOI data, OSHA launched of an initiative to protect temporary workers from workplace hazards. Announcement of the initiative came during a program for Workers’ Memorial Day, a day annually reserved for honoring workers killed on the job and for renewing a commitment to workplace safety.
According to the announcement, OSHA recently received a series of reports about temporary workers suffering fatal work injuries. Many of the workers died within their first few days on the job.
Among other things, OSHA inspectors plan to assess whether contract workers receive the required safety training in a language and vocabulary they understand. To avoid high worker compensation and health insurance costs, many employers hire temporary workers, often ones who are Hispanic or Latino and do not speak English, as general laborers. Many of those unskilled laborers are at considerable risk for injuries in the workplace.
While the CFOI report shows a drop in overall worker fatalities, a Houston Chronicle article says that is not the case in the Texas oil and gas industry. An analysis by the Chronicle of fatal work injuries in Texas from 2007-2011 found that more oil and gas field services and drilling workers were killed on the job than any other profession in Texas. It is common to see laborers who do not speak English working in Texas oilfields and construction sites.
If you suffered the loss of a family member due to a fatal work injury in Texas and would like to discuss your legal options, a Houston work injury attorney at The Callahan Law Firm is prepared to help. Our attorneys handle fatal work injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no attorney fees until receiving a recovery. Contact our office now for a free case evaluation.