There are some areas in which Texas does not want to be the national leader. But, Texas is the national leader in work place deaths. The state had 524 work place deaths in 2014. That was an increase from the 508 deaths in 2013. Texas has been the national leader in work place deaths 11 of the last 14 years.
The next highest state in 2014 is California, which has a larger population that our state. California had 334 work place deaths last year. In the 2010 census, California had 35 million people, compared to Texas’ 25 million. So, despite having about a 40% larger population, the no. 2 state had some 30% fewer deaths.
Texas is the only state not to require worker’s compensation coverage. See Texas Tribune report. I am sure there is a connection. Without worker’s compensation, some employers may lack financial incentive to focus on safety as they should. A very young man once came to see me because he had been fired from his job after he sustained a serious injury at a bar. He was very concerned about his medical bills. The bar was supposedly self-insured and it refused to pay the young man’s hospital bills. He was afraid his father, who lived out of town, would be upset with him. Before I could decide to accept his case or not, he lost control and went to the bar and took a hostage or two. He ended up in jail.
Such is the state of worker’s compensation in Texas.