Texas Has Become the Most Dangerous State to Work in
Sadly, Texas workers continue to put themselves at risk every single day simply by going to work. In fact, the Lone Star State leads the nation in occupational deaths with 534 in 2017 alone. This is significantly more work-related fatalities than anywhere else in the nation (California had 376 deaths followed by Florida with 299, respectively). Since 2009, Texas has led the nation in workplace fatalities, and it also has the highest worker death rate per capita because Texas has many dangerous industries.
There are numerous reasons why Texas workers are more likely to get injured or die on the job. For one, many of the industries in Texas are inherently dangerous – think oil and gas and construction.
Why Workers Are at Risk in Texas
For years, California had the highest death counts for workers. But in recent years, the coastal state has seen 30 percent fewer workers deaths than Texas, even though 11 million more people live in California. Opinions vary as to why this shift has happened, but one of the main reasons is that employers in Texas are not held as accountable as those in other states.
For example, Texas does not require employers to provide regular breaks for construction workers, even during the hot summers. While Dallas and Austin have passed laws that require breaks for workers, state-wide regulation is nonexistent. Texas is also the only state in the country that does not require private employers to provide workers’ compensation. All this boils down to the fact that there is no accountability in Texas for worker safety, hence the high number of fatalities.
It is also worth mentioning that Texas does not have an occupational safety inspection agency, unlike every other state.
What Industries Are the Most Dangerous?
Understanding why Texas workers are at risk is just the first step. As you can imagine, several industries are far more dangerous than others, including:
- Agriculture – About half of all workplace fatalities happen in the agriculture industry, and Texas is the third-largest agricultural state behind only California and Iowa.
- Construction – This should come as no surprise, but the construction industry is also very dangerous. Over the last couple of years, Texas has seen a steady increase in the number of construction site accidents and fatalities.
- Transportation – Texas is home to a high number of 18-wheeler drivers, and unfortunately, these individuals are often involved in fatal accidents. In 2017, there were 545 big rig deaths in the Lone Star State.
- Oil and gas – Texas’ booming oil and gas industry is great for the economy, but it is one of the most dangerous occupations.
- Roofers – Falls are one of the leading causes of worker deaths in Texas. As more people move to the state, construction on new housing developments and more continue to rise, putting these workers at risk.
Other dangerous industries worth mentioning include trash collectors, health care workers, steel employees, and those in aviation. If you have been injured on-the-job in Texas or lost a loved one in a workplace accident, please contact Rad Law Firm to learn about your rights.