There is a bit of good news for Texas on the workplace injury front, although the numbers are still troublesome. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the incidence rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in private industry in Texas saw a slight dip in 2013, to 2.6 incidents per 100 equivalent full-time workers. The rate was 2.7 in 2012. Moreover, the rate for Texas is below the national rate of 3.3.
These statistics were released as part of the 2013 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), which is conducted annually by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The purpose of compiling this data Is to help the DWC identify safety issues within the state of Texas, and to set workers’ compensation insurance rate, to make the rates fair for each industry.
But there is more to the data than just insurance. The DWC also hopes that knowledge of workplace safety statistics will improve accident prevention and reduce incidents that lead to injuries.
While there is some good news in the Survey, the numbers are not all good. For example, while 2013 saw a nearly three percent decrease in the number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported by workplaces in Texas, the total number was still nearly 199,000. The numbers also varied widely by industry. The injury rate in the natural resources and mining sectors decreased 10 percent, for example, and the utilities sector saw a 43 percent decrease. On the other hand, Texas saw a 33 percent increase in agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting injury incidents, while the much larger transportation sector saw a 15 percent increase and the warehousing sector saw a 10 percent increase . The construction industry also saw a small increase.
While it’s good news that the non-fatal injury rate has decreased slightly, there are still too many workplace injuries and deaths in the state of Texas. Every employer operating in the state has an absolute obligation to keep everyone safe during their workday. The fact that there are still nearly 200,000 injuries every year indicates that too many employers are not taking that responsibility seriously.
Whenever a Texas employer fails to provide a safe working environment, it is possible for them to be considered negligent. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a workplace accident of any kind, please contact the Texas Worksite Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, so that we can conduct a thorough investigation and help you protect your rights.