Most Fatal Work Accidents Occur in Texas, Data RevealsDecember 15, 2023
Texas Continues to Lead the Nation in Deadly Work Injuries & Worker Fatalities
More workers die on the job in Texas than in any other state nationwide, and the Texas worker death rate has increased sharply in recent years. That’s according to federal data. Digging in deeper, some more alarming trends emerge. Specifically, the latest data shows that:
- Texas has ranked first for most worker deaths every year since 2015.
- On average over the past three years, at least one worker has died every day in a fatal occupational accident in Texas.
To understand what’s behind these numbers, let’s look at:
- Where Most Fatal Work Accidents in Texas Happen
- Which Texas Workers Face the Greatest Risks of Deadly Work Accidents?
- What Incidents or Accidents Cause Most Fatal Work Accidents in Texas?
Where Most Fatal Work Accidents in Texas Happen
More than 9 in 10 occupational fatalities in Texas take the lives of private sector workers, with some industries being far deadlier than others. In fact, federal data reveals that:
- The transportation industry is the deadliest for Texas workers: Since 2019, more occupational deaths have occurred in the transportation industry than in any other sector in the Lone Star State. Since 2022, transportation industry deaths in Texas have increased by ~35%. Also notable is the fact that the trucking industry accounts for roughly 19% of these deaths.
- The construction industry ranks second: Once every three or so days, a construction worker in Texas dies in a fatal work accident, making this industry the second deadliest sector after transportation.
- Certain technicians work in the third deadliest industry in Texas: Techs who install, repair, and maintain heavy equipment also have an elevated risk of occupational death. Unlike the transportation and construction industries that have seen worker death rates fall since 2019, technician death rates have increased recently, climbing by ~24% over the same period.
Looking at this from a different perspective, the data also indicates that:
- Service-based industries tend to be deadlier than goods-producing industries.
- While fewer worker deaths occur in the public sector (vs. the private sector), government workers aren’t immune to deadly occupational injuries. Roughly 8% of worker deaths each year affect government employees, with law enforcement standing out as the deadliest public sector for workers.
Which Texas Workers Face the Greatest Risks of Deadly Work Accidents?
Most occupational deaths in the Lone Star state take the lives of workers in the following roles:
- Motor vehicle operators, including commercial drivers, truckers, and driving sales workers
- Construction trade workers, including laborers, roofers, and electricians
- Equipment technicians, including HVAC workers and heavy equipment techs
- Building maintenance crew, including groundskeepers and building cleaning staff
At the other end of the spectrum, the occupations associated with the least worker deaths in Texas are those in the personal care and service industry, meaning hair stylists, aestheticians, nail technicians, and makeup artists (to name a few).
It’s crucial to point out that while some occupations are inherently more dangerous than others, any job or workplace could be life-threatening if:
- Employees don’t receive proper training and/or essential personal protective gear.
- Key equipment isn’t properly installed or kept up.
- The tools of the trade are defective or flawed.
- Employers cut corners with safety in an attempt to reduce overhead.
What Incidents or Accidents Cause Most Fatal Work Accidents in Texas?
Various accidents and events can and do claim the lives of Texas workers year in and year out. Most commonly, however, the incidents that cause occupational fatalities are those shown in the table below.
|# of Worker Deaths in Texas
|% of Total
Worker Deaths in Texas*
Slips, Trips & Falls
Striking Objects or Equipment
|Violence & Animal Attacks
|Explosions & Fires
All Fatal Occupational Accidents in Texas
*2021 is the most recent year for which complete data is currently available.
Remarkably, most deadly transportation incidents for Texas workers involve car or truck wrecks, rather than train or plane accidents. With falling accidents, most deadly incidents happen with falls to lower levels, rather than a slip or trip and fall on the same level. Finally, with toxic exposures, electricity is behind roughly half of these deaths.
As eye-opening as these Texas worker death statistics may be, they can’t do anything to help families who have already lost a loved one to a fatal occupational accident. What may help in these profoundly difficult times can be understanding the legal options and pursuing justice with a wrongful death claim and attorney.