The Top 5 Most Dangerous Jobs In Texas: A Closer Look

Workplace Danger: Exploring The Most Dangerous Jobs in Texas

Texas has been on a steady growth trajectory each year. People flock from states nationwide to try out a southern style of living with big city amenities.

Due to the state’s diverse ecosystem, we’re home to various employment opportunities and industries. Texas has something for everyone, from fishing to oil and gas to technology and everything in between.

Unfortunately, due to the expansive population growth and the spectrum of jobs available, working in Texas comes with challenges.

In 2022, there were over 178,000 people injured on the job in Texas. Mind you, these are only the recorded injuries.

Workplace injuries can happen to anyone, anytime. However, certain professions in the great state of Texas are more likely to cause injury or death than others.

Today, we’ll discuss the top 5 most dangerous jobs in Texas, compare them to the rest of the United States, share personal stories from a few of our clients, and explore ways to enhance workplace safety for everyone.

The Top 5 Most Dangerous Jobs In Texas

1.  Waste Collectors And Recycling Industry

While this may come as a bit of a surprise to some readers, waste collection and recycling workers are some of the most likely to be injured or killed on the job.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated that in 2008, this industry had a “fatality rate of 20.3 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.” This statistic is over 5X the fatality rate for all industries.

Workers face risks and challenges at every turn:

  • Exposure to harmful chemical substances – Workers come into contact with everything we dispose of. This includes rotting animals, household chemicals, needles, and even feces.
  • Moving vehicles and material bales – Whether a worker is behind the wheel of a truck or operating a forklift in a plant, they consistently expose themselves to the risk of injury while handling heavy equipment.
  • Moving high-powered machinery such as conveyor belts and compactors – Besides routine machinery cleaning and maintenance, workers must focus on their tasks to ensure proper adherence to safety measures.
  • Breathing in dust and other airborne contaminants – As mentioned above, with exposure to harmful chemicals and substances, what’s almost scarier is breathing in contaminants that you cannot see. Airborne dust, microplastics, and other particles can attach to the lungs and respiratory system, causing severe injury and death.
  • Repetitive motion injuries – Workers in the waste collection and recycling industry often have tedious and monotonous tasks, putting strain and pressure on their bodies. Stress in their knees, back, arms, and legs can occur frequently.

2. Trucking Industry

There are no surprises here as the trucking industry once again stays on the list of the most dangerous jobs in Texas.

With people buying more and more goods each year, the demand for workers in the trucking industry continues to climb. As more truckers are put onto Texas roads, additional accidents will happen.

Drivers of 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers face an uphill battle:

  • Truckers often work extended, demanding shifts despite federal regulations that require more frequent breaks and stops. This can result in exhaustion, elevating the chances of road errors and accidents.
  • Navigating through severe weather conditions, especially along Texas coastlines, poses a significant challenge for truck drivers.
  • As Texas’ population grows, more vehicles share the roads with truckers. This heightened traffic creates conditions primed for accidents.

3. Construction Industry

Workers in the construction industry are no stranger to workplace injuries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, construction workers accounted for 1 in 5 workplace deaths. 

Each year, workers face dangers on the job, such as:

  • Slips and falls – These injuries and deaths account for 1/3 of construction industry deaths yearly.
  • Heavy equipment – Whether it’s moving objects or operating heavy machinery, this is the primary cause of construction site deaths.
  • Trenching and excavation – Digging trenches and excavating the ground creates many injury opportunities.
  • Electrical hazards – Electrical dangers can be risky on construction sites without correctly identifying utilities and power lines.

4. Roofing Industry

The roofing industry may not tally as many deaths as the others on this list, but when 1 in 5 deaths from construction come from roofing, it deserves to be discussed.

Roofers are naturally at a higher risk of accidents because they work from elevated surfaces than other workers.

This added danger is due to the uneven and often sloped roofs, which makes accidents more likely.

When accidents happen in the roofing industry, they can be disastrous in a flash.

5. Oilfield Industry

The oilfield industry is filled with countless dangers, from the risk of fires, explosions, and the handling of highly pressurized substances to the potential for heavy machinery accidents and prolonged exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Here are a few of the biggest causes of injury and death:

  • Fires, explosions, and pressurized substances – In oilfields, people often work with substances that can catch fire easily, like crude oil and natural gas. If they don’t handle them properly, it can cause massive fires and explosions.
  • Heavy machinery accidents – Oilfields rely heavily on large vehicles and machinery for drilling, transportation, and other operations. These machines’ sheer size and power make them potential sources of accidents.
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals and toxic substances – Oilfields use various chemicals, including drilling fluids, solvents, and corrosion inhibitors, which can harm human health. Prolonged exposure to these substances can lead to chronic health issues.

Final Thoughts On Texas’ Most Dangerous Jobs

As you can see, Texas is filled with some of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

We’ve explored how Texas has unique risks and challenges for workers across every industry listed above.

Understanding these dangers is the first step toward ensuring the safety of every worker.

Now, let’s break down the top dangerous jobs throughout the rest of the 49 states and see how they compare to Texas.

The Most Dangerous Jobs In The United States

According to Forbes and other sources, the top 10 list of the most dangerous jobs in the United States are:

  1. Logging Workers
  2. Fishing and Hunting Workers
  3. Roofers
  4. Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
  5. Structural Iron and Steel Workers
  6. Delivery and Truck Drivers
  7. Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
  8. Underground Mining Machine Operators
  9. Construction Trade Workers
  10. Electrical Power-line Installers and Repairers

Looking at the list above, you’ll notice that the only job from our Texas list that doesn’t appear on the top dangerous jobs in the United States is oilfield workers, which may initially seem surprising.

However, considering the significant presence of oil and gas companies operating in Texas, this absence makes perfect sense.

Remarkably, despite a wide range of dangerous occupations in the state, Texas improved workplace safety in 2022. Workplace injuries per 100 full-time employees dropped to 1.9, marking the lowest figure in the past decade.

This achievement becomes even more impressive compared to the rest of the United States, which maintains a stable rate of around 2.7 injuries per 100 full-time employees.

Texas is progressing in reducing workplace injuries, showcasing effective safety measures and practices contributing to this change.

Now, let’s share a few stories from workers around the state who have experienced workplace injuries and how they got the compensation they deserved.

The Human Side Of Workplace Injuries

Every worker deserves to work in a safe environment. It doesn’t matter how risky your job may be; we must take the proper precautions and safety measures to ensure every worker gets home to their families.

But when things go wrong, you need support you can count on.

Let’s chat about two of our clients’ stories.

“Abraham Watkins Was Right By My Side”

What started as a typical day quickly turned into a nightmare. We’ll use the name ‘Andrea’ for our client to protect her privacy.

Andrea worked in a commercial kitchen. She had been with this company for around four years; she knew the routines and equipment well.

Suddenly, without warning, the kitchen floor collapsed. A massive pot of oil tipped over and poured completely over Andrea, engulfing her entire body.

She remembers very little after that point…

Two months later, Andrea wakes up in the hospital with family and friends by her side. Her body is covered in burns and lacerations. Confused and in pain, Andrea knew she needed to remain strong.

She couldn’t believe that this had happened to her; she didn’t deserve to suffer like that.

When Andrea could share her side of the experience, Abraham Watkins was right by her side. She says, “They were always there, making sure everything was okay with me and I was getting everything I needed.”

This is the experience you get when working with Houston’s best injury attorneys.

You can watch the full conversation with Andrea here.

“Everyone Was Very Attentive To My Family’s Needs”

To protect our client’s privacy, we’ll call her ‘Maria.’

Maria’s husband worked hard to provide for his family. He worked across various states and was always on job sites.

But only one month into a new position did tragedy strike. Maria’s husband was involved in a serious accident and suffered severe trauma to his head. The doctor’s prognosis was uncertain, which put Maria into a state of distress and fear.

In her time of need, a family friend referred Maria to Abraham Watkins.

As she reflects on her experience, Maria says, “They were not just lawyers; they were very attentive to my family’s needs. They were always compassionate and understanding.”

We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to assist Maria’s family in securing the representation and compensation they rightfully deserved.

At Abraham Watkins, we consider our clients an extension of our family; their well-being is at the heart of everything we do.

You can watch the full conversation with ‘Maria’ here.

Steps To Take For Safer Workplaces

Even though we have shown that Texas has decreased overall workplace injuries, there are a few steps everyone should follow, regardless of the industry they work in.

Whether you’re working across oilfields, the exhausting trucking industry, or sorting material in recycling and waste collection, taking these safety steps can drastically reduce workplace accidents. 

1. Comprehensive Training Programs

Every company should be developing and rolling out comprehensive safety training programs. These should cover everything from recognizing potential dangers and how to use equipment correctly to knowing exactly what to do in an emergency.

2. Regular Equipment Maintenance

It’s important to keep all machinery and equipment in proper working order by conducting regular inspections and maintenance checks. This will prevent breakdowns and malfunctions and reduce accidents caused by equipment failures.

3. Foster a Safety Culture

Create a culture where safety is encouraged. Foster an environment where employees can report hazards or ‘close calls’ immediately. Ensure everyone on site knows how to voice their safety concerns effectively.

4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Companies should mandate using the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for industry-specific risks. Every worker should have the right gear to reduce exposure to any potential hazards in the workplace.

Safety Starts With You: Taking Responsibility In Texas’ Dangerous Professions

Having explored the most dangerous jobs in Texas and the broader United States, real-life accounts of workplace injuries, and the proactive steps we can collectively adopt to create safer work environments, it’s essential to understand that safety is not a choice but an absolute necessity.

Always remember safety is crucial in high-risk jobs. By placing safety measures first, you’re not just being responsible; you’re showing you care about the well-being of your fellow workers.

How Abraham Watkins Can Help

You deserve a law firm that prioritizes your needs and takes action to ensure those responsible for the incident are held accountable. At Abraham Watkins, we take pride in being Texas’s oldest personal injury firm.

Our experienced legal team understands the complexities of cases involving personal injury and negligence, especially in situations like workplace injuries. We are dedicated to advocating for victims and their families, seeking justice, and obtaining the compensation they deserve.

When You Choose Abraham Watkins As Your Legal Partner, You Get:

  • Expertise: Our attorneys deeply understand personal injury law, and we have successfully represented clients in various cases, including those involving negligence and workplace injuries.
  • Compassion: We genuinely care about the well-being of our clients and work tirelessly to alleviate their suffering and secure their future.
  • Resources: Our firm has the resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and build a solid legal strategy.
  • Results: Our track record speaks for itself. We have secured substantial settlements and verdicts for clients who have suffered injuries due to workplace injuries. You can see a list of client victories here.
  • Personal Attention: We provide personalized attention to clients, ensuring they understand their rights and options throughout the legal process.

What To Do Next

Contact the legal team at Abraham Watkins today if you or someone you love has suffered injury or death from a workplace injury like the ones mentioned above.

Let us put our experience and dedication to work for you, fighting tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the compensation you need to move forward. Your recovery is our top priority, and we are here to help you every step of the way.

You are not alone. Who you hire matters!

Contact us today for a free consultation at 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.