2021 incident trends: Motor vehicle crashes, construction industry and training

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 tips and suggested e-Learning training courses below to help keep your employees safe on the job. To access the e-Learning courses, policyholders can log in to their texasmutual.com account and then use the links below.

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

2021 incident trends

For businesses, 2021 continued the era of learning to operate within the COVID-19 pandemic, including controlling pre-existing hazards, making adjustments to keep up with demand, and following state and local regulations. We’re looking back on workplace injury trends among more serious claims reported to Texas Mutual to help spread awareness 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’ comp.

The chart to the right shows a breakdown of serious reported claims by industry. Overall, the number of serious claims reported remained consistent with the previous year but were significantly lower than claim totals before the pandemic. Here are a few takeaways:

  • The construction industry has remained one of the busiest throughout the pandemic and remained at the top of the list, accounting for 5% more of the total claims reported as compared to 2020.
  • Administrative, support, waste management and remediation services had the second highest number of serious claims, surpassing manufacturing from the previous year.
  • The mining industry accounted for about 4% less of the total serious claims reported compared to 2020.

Motor vehicle crashes

From 2020 to 2021, driving surpassed slips, trips and falls as the number one cause of injury among reported serious claims. Across the state of Texas, roadway fatalities continued to increase despite less miles being driven. Speed, distracted driving and driving under the influence remain common deadly behaviors.

  • Struck-by. Utilize defensive driving techniques to help avoid being struck by other drivers. Constantly scan the roadway for potential hazards and slow down or change lanes as necessary.
  • Loss of control. Speeding is one of the primary ways to lose control of your vehicle. Stay within the speed limit and slow down around curves or when visibility is low.
  • Passengers. As a vehicle passenger, speak up if you notice the driver showing signs of fatigue or inattentiveness.

e-Learning course suggestions:

Alert Driving

Driving Hazard Recognition

Driving Preparation

Construction industry

Taking a deeper look at the construction industry’s serious claims, three specific types of businesses reported the most:

  • Plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors
  • Highway, street and bridge construction businesses
  • Roofing contractors

The majority of claims were a result of slips, trips or falls. Other common causes included driving and caught in/under/between.

  • Perform an inspection of the area before work begins to ensure that all hazards are controlled.
  • Ensure that fall protection is in place any time you’re positioned 6 feet or more above a lower level.
  • While operating a motor vehicle, stay within posted speed limits, wear a safety belt and stay focused on the road.
  • Follow lockout/tagout procedures to ensure the equipment you’re performing maintenance on isn’t energized.

e-Learning course suggestions:

Fall Prevention/Protection

Floor/Walkway Safety/Audit

Lockout Tagout Authorized Employee


It’s no surprise that employees on the job for less than six months reported more serious claims than any other tenured group. Safety data consistently shows the importance of a strong hiring process and new employee orientation program. However, training needs don’t stop there. Employees on the job for between two and six years reported the second highest number of serious claims, showing that retraining needs don’t fall too far behind.

  • As a new employee, direct your questions to supervisors or tenured employees instead of other new employees.
  • Take training seriously and ask questions if you don’t fully understand the topic.
  • Stay open to new methods and understand that hazards, controls and procedures will change over time.
  • If you’re given the opportunity, participate in or help lead trainings to further solidify your understanding of the subject.

e-Learning course suggestions:

Basic Safety & Health

Equipment Hazards Basics

Job Hazard Analysis

Courtesy of Texas Mutual

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