The number of work-related fatalities in Texas rose by 25% in 2019. A report on fatal occupational injuries in 2019 released by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) shows there were 608 workplace fatalities in private and public/governmental sectors in 2019, up from 488 in 2018.
Data included in the report comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI); 2019 is the latest year for which such data is available.
The incident rate of fatal occupational injuries in Texas was 4.7 per 100,000 full-time employees in 2019. Private sector only employees represented 94% of the fatal occupational injuries with 573 incidents in 2019. The other 35 incidents involved public/governmental sector employees, an increase of one from 2018 (34).
Nationally, there were 5,333 fatal occupational injuries representing an incident rate of 3.5.
Across both the public and private sectors, the industry with the highest number of fatal work injuries was trade, transportation, and utilities with 199 incidents, representing 33% of all incidents in Texas. This was an increase in total number of incidents from 2018 (168).
Twenty percent of fatal work injuries happened in the construction industry with 123 incidents, up from 107 incidents in 2018.
The occupation with the highest number of fatal work injuries was driver/sales workers and truck drivers with 142 incidents, representing 23% of all fatal work injuries. This was an increase in total number of incidents from 123 in 2018.
Incidents among construction laborers increased from 17 in 2018 to 32 incidents in 2019, representing 5% of all incidents. Laborers and material movers saw a 12% decrease in incidents from 17 in 2018 to 15 incidents in 2019.
The event or exposure with the highest number of fatal work injuries was transportation with 283 incidents, representing 47% of all incidents. This was an increase in total number of incidents from 2018 — 223.
There were 96 incidents of falls, slips, and trips, which accounted for 16% of all incidents. This was an increase in the total number of incidents from 2018 (71).
There were 86 incidents of violence and other injuries by persons or animals, which accounted for 14% of all incidents. This was an increase in the total number of incidents from 2018 (71).
Many occupations saw increases in the number of fatal occupational incidents from 2018 to 2019.
Construction and extraction had the largest increase in number of incidents from 105 in 2018 to 136 in 2019 and accounted for 22% of all incidents. Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance had the largest percent increase from 2018 (16) to 2019 (46), a 188% increase.
Transportation and material moving increased from 174 incidents in 2018 to 202 in 2019. It accounted for 33% of all fatal work injuries. Transportation incidents continued to be the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in Texas with 283 incidents in 2019 compared to 233 in 2018.
Men accounted for 93% of total fatalities (568 incidents). Thirty-three percent of the total occupational fatal injuries for 2019 happened to employees over the age of 55 (203 incidents).
Forty-five percent of the employees were White (non-Hispanic) (273), 40% were Hispanic or Latino (241), 10% were Black or African-American (non-Hispanic) (61), and 5% were Asian (non-Hispanic) (28).
Eighty-eight percent of the fatal occupational injuries involved wage and salary employees (536 incidents) and the rest were self-employed (72).
The full report is available on the DWC website: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/safety/sis/documents/2019fatalrpt.pdf
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