Three workers are currently in a hospital recovering from a horrifying workplace accident that occurred at a Church’s Chicken in Livingston, Texas. The floor collapsed beneath the three workers and the grease from the deep fryers and stoves poured on top of them. Additionally, hot stoves and other scalding equipment fell onto them. A customer jumped over the counter to pull them out of the four-foot hole in the middle of the restaurant. All workers are in critical conditions, and one has third-degree burns on more than 75 percent of her body.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the cause of the floor collapse.
Employers Must Protect Workers from Workplace Accidents
Church’s Chicken released a statement saying the city inspector’s office does not perform routine inspections on existing structures unless they are made aware of an existing issue. However, it sounds like the company or the city does not perform inspections until there is already a problem or a workplace accident has already occurred.
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for employees. While floor collapses are a more extreme workplace accident, fast food workers are still at risk for other workplace hazards, including:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Skin irritation from dish cleaners
- Chemical exposure from cleaning products
Unfortunately, younger fast food workers are more susceptible to workplace accidents. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), roughly 44,800 teenage restaurant workers suffered from occupational injuries over a two-year period.
If you were injured in a workplace accident, an attorney can help you figure out what the options are in your situation. Filing for workers’ compensation can be more complicated, especially because Texas is an opt-out state. If your employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance, an attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to help you collect the damages necessary to heal.
Aaron Allison is an Austin workers’ compensation attorney that fights for those injured in a workplace accident.