Texas Workplace Injuries Increase: Overall Number Fell
The good news is that nationally speaking, the number of workplace fatalities dropped in 2012, to the second-lowest level since 1992. The bad news is, Texas wasn’t so lucky.
According to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics last week, while the number of workers dying on the job was down nationally, the state’s number jumped by about 22.7 percent. Texas saw 531 workers lose their lives on the job in 2012, compared with 433 in 2011. Compare that to the direction of the national figure, which was 4,383 workplace fatalities in 2012, down from 4,693 fatalities in 2011.
The reason for the jump in Texas , as many would expect, is the oil and gas boom. As production of oil and gas skyrocketed, so did the industry’s on-the-job fatality number. The number of oil and gas extraction workplace fatalities jumped to 138, the highest number of fatalities since the bureau started keeping track in 1992, and 23 percent higher than in 2011.
The Texas construction industry also saw a bit of a spike, economically, but they, too, saw an increase in workplace deaths, up five percent from 2011, to 775. More disappointing is that the increase came after five straight years of decline.
Truckers didn’t fare much better in the state. The leading category for on-the-job fatalities in Texas was transportation-related incidents. In 2012, 258 workers died in transportation-related incidents, a number that was up more than 50 percent from the 168 who died in 2011. That number includes long-distance and local truckers, as well as those who drive a car as part of their job, such as delivery drivers, couriers and the like. When you isolate the numbers to drivers of large trucks, BLS found that it was the most dangerous job in the state, a reality that the Texas Department of Insurance supports with a statement released on Friday. They noted that the number of deaths involving large truck drivers increased to 121 in 2012, which was 57 percent higher than the 77 who died in 2011.
If employers are doing their job and keeping workers safe, the number of fatalities shouldn’t increase every time business does. Often, the increase in worker injuries and fatalities is the result of companies taking shortcuts to maximize profits.
If you or someone you love have been injured or killed on the job, please contact the Texas Worksite Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, in order to do an investigation and properly protect your rights under the law. Consultations are always free.