Everything is bigger in Texas.
Sometimes, that’s not always a good thing. In between all the talk about job growth and increasing employment opportunities throughout the state is a growing concern for another statistic Texas is leading the country in: Workplace Fatalities.
According to analysis of Texas workplace fatalities released by OSHA, Texans are 12% more likely to be involved in an accident that results in a workplace fatality than doing the exact same job in another state.
In 2013, Texas, again, led the nation in workplace fatalities with 493 deaths with no other state coming remotely close. Though an improvement from 2012’s 563 fatal injuries, Texas is setting a deadly trend in preventable workplace injuries unmatched by any other state in country, and the picture doesn’t look any better for 2014.
OSHA has recently released their work fatality and catastrophe report for December 2014, and Texas ended the year with as many workplace deaths as California, Florida, and New York combined (13). Looking at data from the passed 10 years tells the same story as about 580 Texas workers lost their lives.
Governor Rick Perry Responds To Workplace Fatalities Statistics
In response to an article written by the Dallas Morning News about Texas Workplace Fatalities, the Office of Texas Governor Rick Perry responded by releasing the following statement:
Texas takes the safety of employees very seriously, and the state has a number of services and incentives in place to encourage safe workplaces. Through the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), Texas offers many free and low-cost workplace safety and health services and resources to all Texas employers and employees, regardless of whether the employer has workers’ compensation insurance, including regional and statewide safety training seminars and conferences, on-site safety training to employers, workplace hazard assessments, 24-hour safety hotline, and OSHA compliance assistance consultations.
In Texas, the federal government has the primary responsibility for enforcing workplace safety through OSHA and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The State of Texas’ role is to promote safe and healthy workplaces through educational outreach, employer/employee incentives and regulation of insurance companies’ accident prevention services that are required to be provided to their policyholders.
Employers with workers’ compensation insurance coverage have incentives to provide safe workplaces through their workers’ compensation premiums. Employers with poor safety records experience higher premiums through their experience modifiers. Many insurance companies also offer additional premium credits to employers who provide safety committees or formal safety programs.
Most of these fatal accidents, unfortunately, could have been prevented. Employer negligence for the safety of their employees is a practice that is all too common in South Texas.
The Moore Law Firm has been defending workers and workers’ families in the Rio Grande Valley and throughout South Texas since 1998. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a workplace fatality, visit our offices in McAllen, Brownsville, or Laredo or call 956-631-0745.