Booming economy tears down workplace protections?
OSHA has tightened regulations and rules on reportable injuries this year, which will hopefully lead to a successful decrease in number of workplace injuries and deaths. Though there has been a significant drop in workplace deaths in Texas, the state still leads the country in fatalities.
Why has Texas led the nation in workplace deaths for 7 of the last 10 years? Many people believe that the booming economy is to blame. While Texas' miracle economy continues to grow, many protections for workers are being torn down. Hopefully the recent decline in deaths demonstrates a change in attitude. In 2013, there were 493 workplace fatalities compared to the 536 that took place in 2012. Recent reports showed that since 2000, Texas has led the country in job-related fatalities for 10 of those 14 years.
Comparing Texas to Other Leading States
Though there has been a roughly 8% drop in the number of workplace deaths, Texas still sticks out like a sore thumb. The state leads the nation in workplace fatalities, followed by California, Florida, and New York. Taking a closer look at the numbers shows that Texas is truly making some tradeoffs for its booming economy. There were a reported 493 job-related deaths in Texas compared to 385 in California, demonstrating a rather large margin. Florida had only 234 workplace deaths, with New York reporting only 160. Texas is far outpacing all other states when it comes to workplace fatalities, highlighting how important it is for organizations like OSHA to crack down on rules and regulations.
Breaking down the numbers even more, statistics reveal that deaths among Latino and Hispanic workers actually increased by 7% across the country. Texas is known for having a large amount of Hispanic workers, especially in the construction industry, which is known for overlooking regulations. Sadly, these numbers are not just statistics, but individual lives. Without significant change from how Texas regulates workplace safety, they will likely continue to lead the country in job-related fatalities.