Texas workers are forced to trust their employers to provide a safe workplace. All employees have the right to a workplace environment free from dangers. Yet sadly, many business owners do not follow safety regulations, leaving their employees to pay the price.
Many Texans work in dangerous occupations. Workers in construction, agriculture, oil and gas, transportation, and other industries face potential hazards on the job each day. One act of negligence can cause life-threatening injuries.
Why Are So Many Employees Experiencing Death at Work in Texas?
Why is it dangerous to work in Texas?
- Employers are not required to provide regular rest breaks. Only Austin and Dallas have local ordinances mandating breaks for construction workers.
- We have no state occupational safety inspection agency.
- We have the fourth-lowest union representation in the country.
Texas workers have reported safety and health violations ranging from improper scaffolding to lack of hazard communication.
What Are the Most Commonly Cited OSHA Violations in Texas?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates occupational industries to ensure workers remain safe on the job. However, negligent companies can fail to meet safety standards, costing hundreds of lives in Texas every year.
The top 10 most cited safety and health violations in the Lone Star State involve:
- Construction fall protection
- Respiratory protection
- Inadequate ladders
- Inadequate scaffolding
- Lack of fall protection training
- Hazardous energy
- Eye and face protection in construction
- Industrial vehicles
- Machine guarding and heavy machinery
Safety violations and negligence lead to catastrophic and deadly injuries every single year in workplaces across Texas.
What Types of Injuries Are Responsible for Texas Workers Dying on The Job?
Hundreds of workers suffer fatal injuries on the job in the Lone Star State. Through the years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has collected data to determine the deadliest types of accidents Texas workers suffer.
Commonly referred to as the fatal four, a death at work in Texas is often caused by:
- Slips and falls: Nearly 36.5% of occupational fatalities are due to falling accidents. Workers can fall off subpar scaffolding and ladders. Employees fall due to unprotected holes and other construction site dangers.
- Being crushed or tangled between: Workers can get caught in heavy machinery or equipment, often suffering fatal amputations from blood loss. Laborers may get caught between machinery, sustaining severe crush injuries. Approximately 2.5% of workplace deaths result from workers being caught in or between machinery or structures.
- Electrocutions: Nearly 8.6% of on-the-job deaths occur from electrocution accidents. Construction sites are particularly prone to electrocutions. Exposed wiring, circuit parts, and poorly maintained extension cords can create significant risks for workers.
- Being struck by an object: Over 10.1% of deaths at work are due to objects striking an employee. Objects can fall or swing into workers. Machine malfunctions, unsecured cargo, and vehicle strikes can cause traumatic brain injuries and fatal internal damage.
While any profession has its dangers, some occupations pose greater risks than others.
What Are the Most Dangerous Jobs in Texas?
Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. However, ignoring safety measures and allowing rampant negligence needlessly increase the risks already associated with hazardous work.
Deaths at Work Continue to Rise
According to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN), deaths at work have steadily risen. In the last five years:
- On-the-job deaths have increased 9%
- Nationally, the average fatality rate was 3.4 in the last reporting year
An ISHN study exposed the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. For example, logging was 33 times more hazardous than the average profession. After logging, the deadliest occupations included:
- Construction work
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
- Oil, gas, and mining workers
The Top Industries in Texas Are the Most Dangerous
It is no wonder that Texas employees are dying on the job at alarming rates. The Lone Star State’s economy rests on some of the most dangerous professions in the country, and these industries are growing.
The Texas Economic Development Corporation reports that public, private, and academic leaders have joined together to encourage accelerated growth in industries like advanced manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, and energy, all of which are inherently deadly. In fact, the top five most dangerous jobs in Texas are:
- Waste collection
- Commercial trucking
- Oilfield work
Regardless of the innate riskiness of an occupation, workers deserve to have their safety protected by their employers. Negligence should never be a factor in a workplace death but it sadly all too often is.
How Many Texas Workers Are Dying on the Job?
Far too many Texans are dying at work. Every year, studies show that occupational death rates are high across the state in a number of industries. In the last reporting year, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries found that there were nearly 500 deaths at work. Private sector workers represented 92% of all fatalities.
Construction workers suffered the most deaths at work, representing 27% of Texas’s total occupational fatalities. While the total number of work-related deaths decreased from the prior year, construction fatalities continue to increase, as construction mortality rates increased 7%.
Transportation and Warehousing
The transportation and warehousing sector is the second deadliest industry in Texas. Large commercial truck drivers and other occupations that move and transport cargo make up the bulk of this industry.
The risks associated with transportation and warehousing include operating heavy equipment to move cargo, hauling hazardous materials, and driving long hours over great distances. More than 22% of all deaths at work happened in transportation and warehousing.
Natural Resources and Mining
The natural resources and mining industry includes jobs in agriculture, fishing, oil and gas extraction, mining, forestry, and hunting. As the third most dangerous sector, it represents nearly 16% of all workplace deaths.
Workers in the natural resources and mining industry can suffer fatal injuries from falls, explosions, fires, and toxic exposure.
Texas Workplace Accidents
No amount of compensation can ease the grief of losing a loved one. When an employee is killed at work due to the negligence of another individual or entity, their surviving family members are left to pick up the pieces.
At Dax F. Garza, P.C., our compassionate Houston work accident attorneys in Texas are here to help you through this difficult time. Your loved one deserves justice. We can hold the responsible parties accountable for your loved one’s death and help provide your family closure.