• May 31, 2017

Paul Smart Killed in Midland, TX Oil Field Accident

Midland, TX -- A work-related incident in the area of Midland, TX left Paul Smart dead Monday, May 29, 2017.

The incident happened in the vicinity of 7000 E City Road 170 around 3:30 a.m.

According to reports, Mr. Smart was working with stringing cable when for reasons unclear he was caught in the winch. It's unclear at this time how Mr. Smart was caught in the cable. The report claims the winch was attached at the back of a truck.

Representatives with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are working on the investigation.

map of the area

Commentary

The last line in the media report makes mention of the fact OSHA has taken over the investigation in this accident. While reading this may bring comfort to some, the fact of the matter is OSHA will in no way benefit the family of the man killed in this incident.

It may sound harsh, but OSHA investigations are not conducted for the benefit of victims. OSHA's primary function is to act as the enforcement authority of the US Department of Labor. They inspect work conditions at job sites, levying fines against companies failing to meet certain safety standards.

I say this not to place blame on OSHA. In fact, they're effective in ensuring non-compliant companies remedy potential hazards to meet federal standards. For workers, this may lead to a safer workplace, and possibly prevent future accidents. But, for victims and their families, OSHA is essentially ineffectual with regards to their being fairly compensated for damages. To put it bluntly, it's not OSHA's job to care about victims following workplace incidents.

Does this mean victims and their families are left to their own devices in workplace accidents? Absolutely not. In fact, there are a great number of non-governmental resources at the disposal of victims and their families to collect the appropriate evidence to build their case.

OSHA investigations are notoriously protracted. This means while victims and their loved ones await the outcome of OSHA investigations to bolster their case, collecting necessary evidence goes neglected. To say time is of the essence in workplace accidents is trite. In these types of accidents, time is the most valuable of all commodities.

--Grossman Law Offices

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