In 2013, there were 493 fatal occupational injuries in Texas, an 8 percent decrease from 536 in 2012, the Texas Department of Insurance reported.
The figures are based on preliminary data released release by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).
Nationally, there were a total of 4,405 fatal occupational injuries. The rate of fatal occupational injuries in Texas was 4.4 per 100,000 full-time employees in 2012, the latest year state fatality rates are available.
Fatal occupational injury rates for 2013 at the state level will not be available until spring 2015, when the final CFOI data are released.
Incidence rates for non-fatal injuries and illnesses by industry for 2013 will be released in October 2014. In 2012, the Texas incidence rate for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses was 2.7 per 100 full-time employees, while the national rate was 3.4 per 100 full-time employees. The Texas non-fatal incidence rate has been below the national rate since data collection began in 1990.
In Texas, transportation incidents continued as the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries and accounted for the majority of the total decrease in fatal occupational injuries in 2013, declining by 49 incidents from 2012. Specifically, roadway incidents involving a motorized land vehicle decreased from 193 to 154 incidents.
At the state level, transportation incidents involving the support activities for mining industry decreased from 30 incidents in 2012 to 25 in 2013. In the truck transportation industry, these incidents decreased from 66 to 53 incidents. Wholesale trade experienced 18 transportation incidents, up from 12 in 2012.
Contact with objects surpassed falls as the second leading cause of fatal occupational injuries, up from 65 in 2012 to 76 in 2013. Of these, 72 percent involved being struck by an object or equipment (55 incidents), an increase of 17 percent from 2012 (47 incidents). Eighteen percent involved employees being caught in or compressed by equipment or objects (14 incidents), an increase from 5 incidents in 2012.
The industry subsectors in Texas experiencing the highest number of fatal occupational injuries were truck transportation (64 incidents), specialty trade contractors (64 incidents), support activities for mining (47 incidents), heavy and civil engineering construction (37 incidents), and justice, public order, and safety activities (36 incidents).
In Texas in 2013, the occupation experiencing the most fatalities was heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, with 104 incidents. This was a 14 percent decrease in fatal injuries from the 121 incidents in 2012.
Construction trade workers followed with 78 fatal injuries in 2013 compared to 82 incidents in 2012. Within the construction trade occupations, construction laborers accounted for 34 of the total fatal injuries.
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) compiles detailed information on all occupational fatalities occurring in Texas for the CFOI, a program jointly administered with the BLS. The DWC annually releases total fatal injury counts and descriptive data in an effort to provide information to assist employers, safety professionals, and policymakers in identifying occupational safety and health issues in the state.
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