Austin, TX – Nationally, there were a total of 4,383 fatal work injuries in 2012, according to preliminary data released in August by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). The fatality rates were highest in the construction, transportation, agriculture, and mining and oil and gas extraction industries. In Texas, there were 531 work-related fatalities, an increase from 2011.
Incidence rates for nonfatal injuries and illnesses by industry for 2012 will be published in October 2013. In 2011, the Texas incidence rate for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses was 2.7 per 100 full-time workers. The Texas non-fatal rate has been below the national average since data collection began in 1990.
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) compiles detailed information on all work-related fatalities occurring in Texas for the CFOI, a program jointly administered with the BLS. The TDI-DWC annually releases total fatality 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.
The TDI-DWC provides various safety and health services to assist employers in providing safe and healthy workplaces, including resources to help prevent transportation-related incidents on its Driving Safety website. Resources by industry and occupation can be found on the TDI website. Other services include free safety and health consultations on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; regional and onsite safety training; free safety training DVD loans; the Safety Violations Hotline; and free safety and health publications.
For more information on these services, visit the TDI website or call 800-687-7080. In addition, employers that carry workers’ compensation insurance in Texas can obtain accident prevention services from their insurance companies at no additional charge.
- At the national level, fatal work injuries in both the private construction sector and mining sector rose in 2012. The increase in the mining sector was led by a 23 percent rise in fatal injuries to workers in oil and gas extraction industries, up to 138 incidents in 2012 (an estimated 15.9 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees).
- In Texas, transportation incidents continued as the leading cause of fatal work injuries and accounted for the majority of the total increase in 2012, rising by 90 incidents from 2011. Specifically, roadway incidents involving a motorized land vehicle increased from 106 to 191 incidents. The number of incidents with exposure to harmful substances or environments, fires or explosions, and falls, slips, trips increased slightly. Contact with objects and equipment and violence and other injuries by persons or animals decreased slightly.
- At the state level, transportation incidents involving the support activities for mining industry increased from 12 incidents in 2011 to 30 in 2012. In the construction industry, these incidents increased from 22 to 42 incidents. Likewise, truck transportation experienced 66 transportation incidents, up from 43 in 2011.
- The industry subsectors in Texas experiencing the highest number of fatal occupational injuries were truck transportation (79 incidents), specialty trade contractors (59 incidents), support activities for mining (58 incidents), administrative and support services (37 incidents), and heavy and civil engineering construction (34 incidents). Collectively, fatal injuries in these industries increased by 38 percent (74 incidents).
- In Texas in 2012, the deadliest occupation was heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, with a 57 percent increase in fatal injuries, up from 77 incidents to 121. Construction trade workers followed, with 82 fatal injuries in 2012 compared to 59 incidents in 2011. Within the construction trade occupations, construction laborers accounted for 33 of the total fatal injuries.
To view the full 2012 fatal injury report on cause, industry, employee demographics, occupation, and specific charts and tables, visit the TDI website. This is the first in a series of three releases of data collected by the TDI-DWC in cooperation with the BLS. The final fatal injury numbers and rate will be released in spring 2014. The CFOI data tables can also be found on the TDI website.