Texas is Deadliest State for Workers, Per Latest Stats

Nancy Grover

Austin, TX (WorkersCompensation.com) – The rate of fatal occupational injuries nationally in 2019 was 3.5 per 100,000 workers — unchanged from 2018. But in Texas the rate was 4.7 per 100,000 fulltime workers. The 608 fatal occupational injuries in that state represented an increase of 25 percent from 2018, according to a new report from the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.

The report, based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, show Texas led the nation in workplace-related fatalities in 2019. It was followed by California, Florida, New York and Georgia. Increases in deaths of workers were present in nearly all categories in Texas. The lone exceptions were the occupation of laborers and material movers, which saw a 12 percent decrease in incidents, from 17 in 2018 to 15 in 2019; and a decrease in suicides in 2019, 22 compared to 30 in 2018.

“Transportation incidents continued to be the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in Texas with 283 incidents in 2019 compared to 233 in 2018,” according to the report. “Transportation represents 47 percent of all incidents, a slight increase from 46 percent in 2018.”

Most categories within this event had increases from 2018. For example, roadway incidents involving a motorized land vehicle increased to 181 from 2018, non-roadway incidents that involved a motorized land vehicle increased from 13 incidents in 2018 to 27 in 2019, a 10 percent increase, and aircraft incidents increased from 10 in 2018 to 21 in 2019, a 110 percent increase.

“Pedestrian vehicular incidents were up from 25 in 2018 to 45 incidents in 2019, an 80 percent increase,” the report says. “Nineteen pedestrians were struck by a vehicle in a non-roadway area, 10 more than in 2018, and a 90 percent increase.

Additional statistics included in the report are:

Industries. Trade, transportation and utilities was the industry with the highest number of fatalities. The 199 incidents represented 33 percent of all incidents. Twenty percent of fatalities occurred in the construction industry.

Occupations. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers had the most number of fatalities at 142, representing 23 percent and an increase from 2018. Incidents among construction laborers increased to 32 incidents from 17 the prior year.

Case characteristics. After transportation, slips/trips and falls accounted for 16 percent of all incidents – also an increase from 2018. The rate of violent incidents by persons or animals increased from 2018 and represented 14 percent of all incidents. Homicides increased by 40 percent in 2019, from 40 in 2018 to 56. The number of falls to a lower level increased by 49 percent from 2018.

Men accounted for 93 percent of the fatalities in 2019.

One-third of the deaths occurred to workers over the age of 55.

In terms of race,

  • 45 percent were white
  • 40 percent were Hispanic or Latino
  • 10 percent were Black or African American
  • 5 percent were Asian.

The vast majority of workplace fatalities in Texas — 94 percent — involved workers in the private sector. Among the 35 fatalities in the public/governmental sector, 24 were in local government, including 11 in police protection.

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