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September 28, 2011

Work-Related Fatalities Decreased in Texas in 2010

AUSTIN, TX - Texas recorded a preliminary total of 456 work-related fatalities in 2010, a 5 percent decrease compared to the revised 2009 total of 482 fatalities. Nationally, there were a preliminary total of 4,547 fatal work injuries in 2010, about the same as the final revised count of 4,551 in 2009, according to the most recently available data released on August 25, 2011, by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).

From 2003 to 2010, Texas recorded as few as 440 work-related fatalities in a year (2004) to as many as 528 fatalities in a year (2007) (Table 1).

Table 1. Annual Number of Fatal Occupational Injuries in Texas, 2003-2010

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

491 440 495 489 528 463 482 456

Regarding the data reported in this news release:

  • Sources include the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC), Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Data for 2010 are preliminary. Data for prior years are revised and final.
  • Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately.
  • Dashes indicate no data or data that do not meet publication criteria.
  • CFOI fatal injury counts exclude occupational illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event.

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.

Table 2. Annual Number of Fatal Occupational Injuries in Texas by Event or Exposure, 2003-2010

Event or Exposure

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Total 491 440 495 489 528 463 482 456
Contact with objects and equipment 70 77 80 88 86 69 65 64
Struck by object 44 49 52 52 47 42 36 35
Falls 52 61 54 60 77 57 82 50
Fall to lower level 47 58 50 54 72 53 75 45
Fall to lower level from ladder 12 9 11 13 12 9 24 11
Fall to lower level from roof 12 12 9 9 14 15 21 15
Fall to lower level from scaffolding, staging 5 9 9 6 15 5 9 3
Exposure to harmful substances or environments 51 35 63 54 66 32 61 53
Contact with electric current 36 21 38 35 39 14 26 27
Exposure to caustic noxious, or allergenic substances 9 5 18 13 16 6 12 12
Transportation incidents 201 194 200 202 193 206 164 196
Highway incidents 118 121 132 129 133 142 106 134
Highway Collision between vehicles, mobile equipment 61 71 54 59 79 56 53 71
Worker struck by vehicle, mobile equipment on highway 32 23 38 42 32 32 21 25
Aircraft incidents 29 28 7 6 5 16 6 17
Fires or explosions 27 18 31 23 17 23 15 18
Assaults and violent acts 90 54 67 59 86 76 94 74
Homicides 69 37 46 45 70 55 69 48
Self-inflicted injuries 18 14 18 13 13 19 23 23

Notes for Table 2:

  • The event or exposure categories are based on the BLS Occupational Injury and Illness Classification Manual.
  • The assaults and violent acts category includes violence by persons, self-inflicted injury, and attacks by animals.

Causes of Fatalities

Despite a decrease in total fatalities in Texas in 2010, the category of transportation incidents experienced an increase of 20 percent from 2009 and continued to be the leading cause of fatalities with 196 incidents (43 percent of the total fatalities). The increase in transportation incidents includes increases in aircraft incidents, highway incidents, and pedestrians struck by vehicles, mobile equipment (Table 2).

Highway incidents accounted for 68 percent of the transportation incidents in 2010. Trucks were involved in 75 percent of the highway incidents, 53 percent of the incidents involved collisions with another vehicle, and 57 percent of the employees involved were in the transportation and material moving occupations. Protective service occupations accounted for 11 percent of the total highway incidents. Pedestrians struck by vehicles or mobile equipment accounted for 13 percent of the transportation incidents in 2010. Tractor trailer trucks were involved in 40 percent of those incidents and 20 percent of those pedestrians were truck drivers. The incident locations accounting for 20 percent of pedestrian incidents were: road construction zones, street and highway, and parking lots.

Aircraft incidents accounted for 9 percent of the transportation incidents in 2010. Eighty two percent of the aircraft incidents involved were wage and salary employees. Eighty eight percent of the employees involved were males, and 35 percent of the employees were in the 55 to 64 year range.

Although assaults and violent acts was the second highest cause of fatalities in 2010, the category experienced a decrease of 21 percent from 2009 and a decrease of 30 percent in workplace homicides. Workplace suicides remained unchanged from 2009. The motive for 48 percent of the homicides was robbery and a firearm was used in 77 percent of those robberies. The employee tending a retail establishment, such as a convenience store or pawn shop, was a victim in 33 percent of the homicides.

Fatalities resulting from falls decreased 39 percent from a high in 2009 (82 incidents) to 50 incidents in 2010, the record low since 2003. Falls from scaffolds, staging decreased 67 percent and falls from ladders decreased 54 percent. Falls involving Hispanic or Latino employees decreased by 51 percent from 2009 and, for the first time since 2003, falls were evenly distributed among White, non-Hispanic employees, with 48 percent each. Two thirds of the falls occurred in the construction industry, similar to the 67 percent in 2009.

Table 3. Annual Number of Fatal Occupational Injuries in Texas by Industry, Private Sector, 2009-2010

Industry

2009

2010

Total 482 456
Private Industry 427 415
Goods Producing 216 187
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 21 26
Mining 28 45
Oil and Gas Extraction -- 3
Support Activities for Mining 26 40
Construction 138 89
Construction of buildings 15 9
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction 28 20
Specialty Trade Contractors 95 60
Manufacturing 29 27
Service Providing 211 228
Wholesale Trade 12 12
Retail Trade 31 25
Transportation and Warehousing 77 93
Truck Transportation 48 53
Utilities -- 4
Information -- 3
Finance and Insurance 8 7
Real Estate and Rental Leasing 3 8
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 8 12
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services 34 17
Education and Health Services 5 13
Health Care and Social Assistance 5 11
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 3 5
Accommodation and Food Services 16 13
Other Services, except Public Administration 13 16

Notes for Table 3:

  • Industry data from 2003 to 2008 are classified using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Industry data after 2008 are classified using the 2007 NAICS.
  • Mining includes fatalities at all establishments categorized as Mining (Sector 21) in the North American Industry Classification System, including establishments not governed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) rules and reporting, such as those in Oil and Gas Extraction. Industries

Overall, 91 percent of fatal work injuries in Texas involved employees in the private industry in 2010 (Table 3). Service providing industries in the private sector recorded 50 percent of all fatal work injuries, while 41 percent were in the goods producing industries. The other 9 percent were spread among Governmental industries. Among the goods producing industries in the private sector, construction had the highest number of fatal work injuries in 2010; the total (89 incidents) was the lowest since 2003 (106 incidents) and represented a decrease of 36 percent from 2009. Thirty-seven percent of the construction industry fatalities were due to falls. Specialty trade contractors had the highest number of fatalities (60 incidents), a decrease of 37 percent from 2009. Economic factors show an employment decrease of 5 percent in the construction industry from 2009 to 2010.

Private sector mining had a total of 45 fatal work injuries in 2010, but unlike construction, experienced a 61 percent increase from 2009. Forty-four percent of the mining industry fatalities were due to transportation incidents. The support activities for the mining subsector had the highest number of fatalities (40 incidents), an increase of 54 percent from 2009. Economic factors also show an employment increase of 2 percent in the mining industry from 2009 to 2010.

Among the service providing industries in the private sector, transportation and warehousing had the highest number of fatal work injuries in 2010; the total (93 incidents) was the highest since 2003 and represented an increase of 21 percent from 2009. There were a total of 74 fatal transportation incidents in the transportation and warehousing sector; of those, 72 percent were highway incidents and 14 percent involved pedestrians being struck by a vehicle, mobile equipment. The truck transportation subsector had the highest number of fatalities (53 incidents), an increase of 10 percent from 2009.

Table 4. Annual Number of Fatal Occupational Injuries in Texas by Industry, Public Sector, 2009-2010
Industry 2009 2010

Total

482

456

Government

55

41

Federal Government

19

7

State Government

7

6

Local Government

29

28

Police Protection

8

15

Nine percent of the fatal work injury cases involved government employees (Table 4). Fatal work injuries among government employees decreased 25 percent in 2010 (41 incidents). Over two-thirds (68 percent) of the fatalities occurred in local government, 15 percent occurred in state government, and 17 percent occurred in federal government. Local government police protection fatalities increased from 8 in 2009 to 15 in 2010.

Employee Demographics

Fatal work injuries to wage and salary employees increased by 6 percent from 370 in 2009 to 394 in 2010, while fatalities among the self-employed decreased by 45 percent from 112 in 2009 to 62 in 2010.

Women accounted for 7 percent of the total fatalities (30 incidents) in 2010. They were involved in fatal transportation incidents in 53 percent of the cases (16 incidents) and were victims of an assault or a violent act in 27 percent of the cases (8 incidents). The leading cause of fatalities among men was transportation incidents with 180 incidents (42 percent), followed by assaults and violent acts with 66 incidents (15 percent).

Fatal work injuries decreased in 2010 for employees 20 to 24 years of age to 25 incidents, from 39 incidents in 2009, and for employees 35 to 44 years of age to 85 incidents, from 108 incidents in 2009. The age group 65 years and over experienced an increase from 37 incidents in 2009 to 44 incidents in 2010.
The number of fatal work injuries rose among White, non-Hispanic employees from 239 incidents in 2009 to 255 incidents in 2010, but decreased from 43 to 26 incidents for Black, non-Hispanic (40 percent) and from 185 to 162 incidents in 2010 for Hispanic or Latino employees (12 percent). A transportation incident was the leading cause of fatal work injuries for all three groups.

The TDI-DWC provides various safety and health services to assist employers in providing safe and healthy workplaces, including free safety and health consultations on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; regional and onsite safety training; free safety training DVD/video loans; the Safety Violations Hotline; and free safety and health publications. For more information on these services, visit the TDI website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/safety/index.html or call 800-687-7080. For more information about fatal work-related incidents, contact the TDI-DWC by telephone at 512-804-4658 or send an e-mail to cfoi@tdi.state.tx.us.



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Last updated: 09/08/2014

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