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What Are the Most Dangerous Professions in Texas?

Many jobs are inherently dangerous due to their proximity to heavy equipment, high risk situations, and other environmental hazards. In Texas, certain jobs are more dangerous than others due to their reputation of high workplace deaths and injuries. These positions usually have strict safety procedures and guidelines necessary to keep workers safe.

Oil, Gas, and Drilling Workers

Texas’s oil industry is well-known around the country. Oil industry workers often bear the risks in oil-related occupational injury and death. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, approximately 39 Texas oil, gas, and drilling workers die each year due to injuries suffered on the job. Since the oil fields are usually in remote areas, these workers cannot seek emergency medical attention as quickly as other professions can.

Tractor-Trailer Drivers

Driving a truck requires significant training and the attainment of a special driver’s license, and likewise comes with a major set of risks. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, truck driving is the state’s deadliest occupation. Truck drivers are 57% more likely to suffer fatal injuries on the job than other Texas workers. This is due to the fact that truck accidents are most often fatal because of the size and weight of the vehicles involved.

Construction Workers

Following big rig drivers in the highest number of work-related deaths are construction workers. According the Texas Department of Insurance, approximately 82 construction workers died from fatal workplace injuries in 2012. Construction workers encounter several high-risk situations on the job, such as falling off scaffolds, injuries from falling objects, machinery mishaps, and electrocution.

Agriculture, Fishing, Forest, and Hunting Industries

Working outdoors comes with its own set of risks. While this category is quite broad, these positions encompass farmers, ranchers, fisherman, foresters, agricultural managers, and other related professions. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, 203,165 non-fatal work injuries occurred in Texas in 2012. Out of these injuries, 3.9% of them were related to these positions in fishing, forestry, hunting, and agriculture.

Steel Workers

In the category of construction jobs, steel workers specifically have an extremely dangerous position. These workers are some of the most vulnerable people in the construction industry and can suffer significant injuries from the nature of their work, using hot materials and heavy machinery. Steel working is a dangerous job nationally, as well as within Texas – each year, an average of 37 employees per every 1,000 employees die from work-related injuries.

Sanitation Workers

Collecting garbage, recyclables, and other waste from Texas homes also comes with its own set of risks. Spending lots of time on the road can lead to accidents and collisions that cause injury to trash collectors. In addition, the heavy equipment that these workers operate can crush and mangle someone who becomes stuck. Trash collectors also have to come in contact with hazardous materials, which can cause illness and poisoning.

Maintenance Workers

Texas workers involved in installation, maintenance, and repair are also at a high risk of injury and death. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, 44 of these workers died from injuries from workplace accidents. In addition to the fatalities, many workers suffer from non-fatal injuries ranging in severity from mild to permanently disabling.

Roofing Employees

Another dangerous profession in the construction industry is roofers. Many roofing accidents occur throughout Texas every single year. Due to the nature of the position, falls from roofs cause the majority of injuries that lead to death for these employees. Not all of these accidents are fatal; many roofers suffer from life-altering injuries.

If a worker suffers an injury on the job in Texas, he or she may receive workers’ compensation. This insurance can help pay for any medical costs, lost wages, and other damages suffered as the result of a work-related injury.