Texas Occupational Injury, Illness Rate Lower than National Rate for 14th Straight Year

December 14, 2004

The Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission (TWCC) reported that in the latest reporting period for nonfatal workplace injury and illness incidence rates, Texas was lower than the national rate. In 2003, the Texas incidence rate was 4.0 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers, while the national incidence rate was 5.0

This is the 14th consecutive year that the Texas rate has been lower than the U.S. rate.

Texas rate information was obtained from a survey conducted by the TWCC in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The totals were based on survey findings from approximately 11,000 private industry employers.

In 2002, the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses began collecting data according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System. Because of differences between NAICS and SIC, the results by industry for 2003 constitute a break in the series, and users of this information are advised that comparisons between the 2003 industry categories and data from previous years is not possible.

SIC codes were assigned based on the principal product produced or services rendered; NAICS codes are assigned based on production processes. This difference allows each country using the new classification system (United States, Canada and Mexico) to produce information on inputs as well as outputs.

In 2003, the transportation and warehousing sector had the highest injury and illness incidence rate in the United States and Texas. Manufacturing had the second highest rate, and health care and social assistance was third highest.

Transportation and warehousing includes industries that provide transportation of passengers and cargo, warehousing and storage of goods, and scenic and sightseeing transportation. Manufacturing is comprised of industries engaged in mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. The health care and social assistance category includes industries such as medical establishments and programs that provide for individual and family needs.

The Commission’s Workers’ Health and Safety Division collects survey data in order to calculate the annual injury and illness rate for Texas. The division also provides several safety and health services to help employers, safety professionals and policymakers reduce injuries and illnesses in the workplace through accident and illness prevention. Those services include: free safety consultations; assistance to hazardous employers; safety education and training; and safety and health publications and audiovisual resources from an extensive library.

For more information on these services, visit the Commission Web site at http://www.twcc.state.tx.us/commission/divisions/division.html.

In the following months, TWCC will be releasing more in-depth safety and health information about high incident rate industry sectors and the resources available to promote and maintain safety in the workplace in those industries.

Additional Texas fatal and nonfatal occupational injury and illness data are available online through standard or customized tables at http://www.twcc.state.tx.us/rss/twcc/hsdata_select.html or by contacting the Commission’s Safety Information Systems Section at (512) 804-4637 or Injury.Analysis@twcc.state.tx.us.

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