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Austin construction accidents frequent, life-threatening

It’s dangerous to work in Austin. Taking a construction job in Texas’ state capital isn’t exactly like gambling, but it comes close.  Austin’s NBC affiliate, KXAN, covered the latest example of a careless construction company rolling the dice with its workers lives.  Trenching violations at the company’s job site are about to cost it a big chuck of change.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found the company had no protective system in its trenches, no covers over utility lines, no safety guardrails on walkways over trenches and no protection from cave-ins. It could be forced to pay $121,000 in federal fines.

In February 2016, a worker in West Austin fell four stories from a hotel under construction. The KXAN story also covered that accident and two more construction accidents that same month.

Safety shortcuts that injure workers are not unusual

In 2013, NPR reported that one in every 13 workers in Texas was employed in the state’s $52 billion-per-year construction industry.  But Texas does the lousiest job in the nation of protecting its workers.  The Lone Star State has more deaths at job sites than any other state.  By the end of 2014, Texas had been at the top of the U.S. Labor Department list of job site fatalities for 11 out of the previous 14 years.

Worker’s compensation does not exist in Texas. Texas law does not require it the way many other states do.  Some Texas companies voluntarily ensure their workers.  Most don’t.  According to The Texas Tribune,“…at least half a million workers in Texas are not covered at all.”

Texas has lots of jobs in “…particularly dangerous industries such as trucking, construction and gas production.”  Despite the oil industry’s recent decline – it lost 84,000 oil and gas jobs  by April 2016 – jobs in Central Texas, are plentiful thanks to the area’s extraordinary growth rate.

Austin’s growth rate increasing construction jobs

Austin is one of the top ten fastest growing cities in the United States among cities of its size, according to the Austin Business Journal.  The magazine reported that between 2014 and 2015, Austin added nearly 20,000 residents.  Towns in the Austin area are growing at an even faster rate

The extraordinary increase in the Central Texas’ population is fueling a big demand for new office buildings, residential homes and hotels, according to the Austin American Statesman.  The growth rate shows no sign of abating.

Austin workers have an ally in Wayne Wright

You are not alone in the trenches, on the scaffold or driving an 18 wheeler or other construction machine. If you get hurt, Wayne Wright can help you.  He won a 2014 Litigator Award based on results he got for clients.  Less than 1% of lawyers ever win enough for those they represent to qualify for this rare award.  Calls and evaluations are free.  You pay nothing unless Wayne Wright wins for you.  (Read more)

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