Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Texas has slight rise in workplace injuries

Even skilled or cautious workers cannot escape the risk of occupational injury or illness. Workplace injuries and illness rose slightly in the state, in fact, according to a report issued earlier this month by the Texas Department of Workers' Compensation. Private employers in the state reported 177,977 nonfatal workplace injuries last year, according to the DWC.

The DWC utilized information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sprains, strains and tears comprised most of the injuries with 17,440 of these injuries recorded. Next, there were 7,610 soreness and pain injury cases, 5,970 fracture injuries and 4,180 injuries attributed to cuts, lacerations and punctures. Nearly 30 percent of these injuries were serious and required days off from work. There was a median nine days off for these injuries for that time.

There were 51,250 nonfatal injuries requiring days off in 2018. This was a slight increase from the 48,490 from 2017. The highest number of time off from work attributed to injuries and illnesses was reported by the service-producing injury with a rate of 58.6 percent per 10,000 full-time employees. Mining, manufacturing, construction and other good-producing employers had the second highest number of days off from injuries and illness.

In 2018, the arts, design, entertainment, sports and media industries also had the highest number of median days off from work. These occupations reported 175 days off which was an increase from the 168 days reported one year earlier. Employers in business and financial services, architecture, engineering, health care support and installation, maintenance and repair had a drop in the number of days off.

Workers in two age groups had a large statistical rise in injuries, according to the DWC report. Workers aged 16 to 19 had 1,810 injuries in 2018, which was an increase from the 1,340 reported in 2017. Workers in the 55 to 64 age group had 8,190 injuries in 2017, which rose to 9,670 in 2018. A worker may be entitled to compensation for a workplace accident caused by employer negligence that exceeds the relief offered by workers' compensation. An attorney can help them pursue a civil lawsuit for relief.

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