For years, Texas has led the nation in occupational deaths, with the top percentage typically arising from construction. Despite apparent efforts to combat the inherent risk in construction and other industrious trades, employers have touted that new employees receive mandatory OSHA training in the hopes of mitigating the risk present while on the job. Still, one expert calculates that over the last half decade in the Houston area alone, three construction workers per day are killed in work-related incidents.
The safety epidemic in Houston has grown to levels such that the Harris County government has been compelled to take action to address the unmitigated danger facing the working people of the Greater Houston area. Harris County attorneys have made clear that employers who consciously disregard the safety of their employees will receive penalties from the city, including the potential to be temporarily banned from bidding on county construction projects.
Unchecked risks in construction will always lead to increased probably of serious injury and death. Combined with a high influx of new workers seeking opportunity, many workers are exposed to extreme danger without proper training or warning, despite their employer’s often knowing full well of how to prepare their crews for safe operating procedure—whatever the task or undertaking may be. In 2021, Texas reported over 533 workplace fatal injuries. This number is no surprise, as Houston is also among the top destinations for construction labor. The high supply of labor meeting Houston’s apparent unquenchable demand for industry is precisely what creates the perfect storm for common danger in the workplace.
No matter the circumstance, employers are obligated by law to protect their employees by providing adequate training, protection, supervision, and if necessary, re-training. The failure for employers to do so, time and again, is what will produce severe injury and death at the workplace.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a work-related accident, please contact the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.