January 29, 2024

2023 incident trends: Construction industry, length of employment and struck-by hazards

As a service to our policyholders, Texas Mutual shares serious workplace injury trends based on catastrophic injuries and fatalities reported to our claims department. Not all of these reported injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, but our goal is to help you ensure these types of incidents do not happen in your workplace. Find safety tips below to help keep your employees safe on the job.

If you have questions, we encourage you to contact our safety services support center at 844-WORKSAFE (967-5723) or safety@texasmutual.com.

2023 incident trends

2023 incident trends graph

In this article, we’re looking back on workplace injury trends among the more serious claims reported to Texas Mutual in 2023. We’re sharing this information to help spread awareness about common safety hazards and assist employers in preventing similar incidents. Serious claims data includes catastrophic injuries and fatalities reported to us, some of which may have been deemed as non-compensable at a later date and were not covered by workers’ compensation.

The chart to the right shows a breakdown of serious reported claims by industry. Overall, there were nearly 6% more severe injuries reported to Texas Mutual in 2023 compared to the previous year. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • The construction industry remained at the top of the list, with more than triple the number of reported claims of any other industry.
  • The six industries shown in this chart with the highest number of claims remained in the same rank order as in 2022.
  • While construction and mining businesses reported more claims this year, most other industries reported fewer compared to 2022.

Construction industry trends

Though almost two-thirds of the specific construction industries reported more claims in 2023 than the previous year, the three with the largest increase were the following:

  • All other specialty trade contractors (133% increase)
  • Oil and gas pipeline and related structures construction (175% increase)
  • Power and communication line and related structures construction (500% increase)

There were 150% more reported electrocution-related claims in the construction industry in 2023. Over one-third of these incidents occurred while the employee was also working at heights.

Safety tips:

  • Identify potential electrical hazards such as power lines during a pre-work hazard assessment.
  • Determine the voltage of any power lines or contact the electrical company for assistance.
  • Measure and mark the appropriate minimum clearing distance from the power lines based on the voltage.
  • If any work is being conducted near the clearing distance marking, utilize a spotter to ensure equipment does not come too close to the power lines.
  • While working, always assume power lines are energized.

Length of employment

During 2023, there was an increase in incidents for employees who have been on the job between one and six years. After accumulating years of experience, it’s not uncommon for tenured employees to let down their guards and fall into complacency. However, with continued training in best practices and leadership opportunities, experienced employees can continue to contribute to the safety culture of their company.

Safety tips:

  • Take responsibility for your actions and remember to set an example for newer employees.
  • Ask for feedback on your work to increase your engagement and model continuous improvement for others.
  • Learn to spot the signs of complacency in yourself and your colleagues, such as frequent near-misses, lack of motivation, missing steps or taking shortcuts.
  • Get more involved in your company’s safety committee or hazard inspection program to keep your safety knowledge up to date.

Struck-by hazards

Among serious reported claims in 2023, there was a nearly 50% increase in claims where an employee was struck by an object or heavy equipment. Although most of these injuries happened to employees with one year or less of experience, it was employees with one to six years of experience who saw over twice as many of these claims compared to the previous year.

Safety tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, staying clear of the swing radius of heavy equipment and tools used by coworkers.
  • Avoid distractions such as cell phone use while on the job site.
  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment such as hard hats, eye protection and steel-toed boots, especially around objects that can become airborne.
  • Ensure that loads and materials are stacked and secured properly and make sure not to walk beneath any suspended load.

Get free safety resources

Texas Mutual policyholders have access to thousands of free training materials in our multimedia safety resource center, including our safety catalog with up-to-date resources.

To access the free materials, log in to your texasmutual.com account and select Safety. If you need help accessing the safety resource center or you have a workplace safety question, call us toll-free at 844-WORKSAFE (967-5723).

Download a PDF (817KB) version of the January Safety Alert.