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10 Most Dangerous Occupations in Texas – You May be Surprised

Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019 at 9:03 am by Williams Hart   

Slips and falls, faulty electrical lines, poorly maintained machinery, lack of safety equipment, heavy objects striking out of nowhere–all are familiar hazards in the American workplace. Unfortunately, they are the cause of workplace fatalities that happen every single day.

A 2018 study led by Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics for the National Safety Council, suggests that occupations with the highest fatality rates have one of three things in common: they involve working from dangerous heights, frequent contact with dangerous machinery, or driving for substantial periods.

But which professions are statistically the most dangerous? The answer may surprise you. 

In Texas, it is typically assumed that construction work or oil and gas extraction are the most dangerous industries. While many of the listed professions below are in many ways related to those industries, it is important to take a closer look at the numbers.

The following list of the most dangerous occupations in Texas was determined by examining the fatal injury rates in 2017 for 72 occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, and narrowing it down to the top 10 according to industry by state.

  1. Commercial fishermen

Fatal injuries in 2017: 100.0 fatalities per 100,000 workers

Topping the list, perhaps unexpectedly, commercial fishing is a highly physical industry involving slippery decks and heavy equipment in often remote areas where access to medical care is limited.

2. Loggers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 87.3 per 100,000 workers

Second on the list, the logging industry is also physically demanding labor–primarily outdoors and in remote areas of East Texas. Fatalities are most commonly caused by contact with an object (falling branches or logs) and dangerous machinery.

3. Pilots and flight engineers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 51.3 per 100,000 workers

In an industry characterized by mental stress and demanding scheduling, aircraft pilots and flight engineers are especially subjected to transportation accidents caused primarily by exhaustion.

4. Roofers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 45.2 per 100,000 workers

Scaffolds, ladders, and roofs create hazardous worksites for roofing professionals. Additionally, roofers are also at-risk for heat related illnesses caused by unfavorable working conditions in the hot sun.

5. Recyclable material collectors

Fatal injuries in 2017: 34.9 per 100,000 workers

Most recyclable material collectors operate in a moving vehicle during a normal workday, thus the vast majority of reported fatalities are caused by transportation incidences, including auto accidents. They may also be exposed to chemical pollutants.

6. Iron and steel workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 33.3 per 100,000 workers

The installation and repair of iron on buildings, bridges, and roads often require iron and steel workers to perform job functions at significant heights. Falls, slips, and trips are the most common causes of fatalities in this industry.

7. Truck drivers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 26.9 per 100,000 workers

Spending much of their time on the road, truck drivers are possibly at the highest risk to transportation incidents such as motor vehicle accidents. They are also at risk of sustaining injuries from moving or living heavy objects.

8. Agricultural professionals

Fatal injuries in 2017: 24.0 per 100,000 workers

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers are at risk of fatal injuries involving motorized vehicles (tractors), tools, and farm machinery. Unlike the majority of dangerous occupations, the majority of reported injuries resulted in death at 58.9%

9. Groundskeepers and landscapers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 21.0 per 100,000 workers

Grounds maintenance work is considered one of the most dangerous occupations in America because it frequently requires the use of powerful machinery such as chainsaws, lawnmowers, and tractors. Unintended contact with dangerous machinery is the most common cause of death in this industry. 

10. Electrical powerline installers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 18.6 per 100,000 workers

The installation and maintenance of high voltage power lines at great heights make live wires and risk of falling the most common causes of fatal injuries in this industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the above occupations are especially subjected to occupational fatalities or injuries. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in work-related wrongful death cases and can help you get the justice that your family and loved-one deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Eagle Ford Shale Leads Texas in Energy-Industry Death Toll

Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2019 at 2:58 pm by Williams Hart   

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2003-2013 the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry experienced unprecedented growth leading to a doubling of its workforce and an increase in the number of drilling rigs by 71%. 

In the midst of this rapid growth came the discovery of oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale, a long, geological formation that straddles the heartland of Texas’ central-southern regions. Its brittle sedimentary structure is extracted through hydraulic fracturing–otherwise known as fracking, a process in which rock is smashed with a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to release small pockets of oil and gas inside.

Stretching across the brush country of South Texas, from Madisonville–just north of Houston–all the way to the western rural regions of Carrizo Springs and Crystal City, the Eagle Ford Shale has been the most oil-and-gas-rich geological formation in the state since its discovery in 2008.

At roughly 50 miles wide and 400 miles long the Eagle Ford Shale is home nearly 30 counties in which thousands of locals are settled and oil and gas professionals have flocked to on the promise of hefty financial compensation. 

Like any other energy-industry hub, similar to the eruption that occurred in the Permian Basin of West Texas, these counties have stood witness to an alarming spike in occupational fatalities. 

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Eagle Ford Shale leads the state in oil-and-gas related fatalities.

Common Causes of Drilling Rig Injuries

Energy-industry professionals are at risk of numerous hazards in the oilfields of the Eagle Ford Shale:

  • Fires and explosions
  • Chemical exposure
  • Equipment failure
  • Slips and falls
  • Electrocution

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of fatal work injury cases in oil and gas extraction industries were 27 percent higher in 2014 in comparison to the previous year. 

Additionally, between 2010 and 2014, 615 U.S. oil field workers died with 270 (44%) of those being from Texas. And in 2014 alone, half of the country’s oil field deaths were in Texas.

Following these fatalities, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) completed rig site investigations found that 78% of Texas oil-field accidents could have been prevented with safer equipment or the implementation of safety procedures.

What To Do in the Event of an Injury

Occupational fatalities are unfortunately prevalent in the oil and gas industry, especially in the busy regions of the Eagle Ford Shale. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in oil and natural gas injury cases and can help you get the justice that you or your family deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.

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