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July 18th, 2013

Construction Boom Means Increased Risk of Accidents, Injuries

The construction industry in Texas is once again on the upswing, and most memories of the dark days of the recession, are behind us. However, profits for the construction industry haven’t meant safer conditions for workers. In fact, the construction industry in Texas continues to be the deadliest workplace for American construction workers.

More Texas workers die in construction accidents in Texas, than any other workplace in the country. In 2010, the construction worker death rate here was approximately 10.7 fatalities for every 100,000 workers. That was higher than the 8.8 fatality rate for workers in the rest of the country.

According to data that was recently published in NPR, approximately one out of 5 construction workers in Texas will suffer injuries on the job that are serious enough to require hospitalization. What make it even worse for these workers is that this is only state in the nation without mandatory workers’ compensation, meaning that construction workers, who are injured and not covered by insurance, have terrible financial consequences to deal with, apart from their injuries.

The illegal practice of using undocumented workers is also widespread in the state of Texas. Worker misclassification is widespread in this industry, and many workers are misclassified as contractors, so that employers can escape having to pay payroll costs, taxes and other costs.

One study found that 41% of workers in the state of Texas, regardless of whether they were undocumented workers, or citizens, were misclassified as subcontractors. With subcontractors, employers do not have to pay essential payroll taxes, workers compensation, and overtime costs. All they have to pay is an hourly rate, which is a very lucrative deal for employers.

The Texas construction accident lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent construction workers injured in accidents on the job across Texas.

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