Occupational Health and Safety: What Texas Employers Should Know About OHS


Everything’s bigger in Texas, including its trillion dollar economy fueled by a diverse set of industries, all made possible by 13.2 million Texans working in environments that range from high-rise office buildings to high-risk construction and oil and gas fields. In recent years, there has been a bigger focus on safety and workplace injuries, with many businesses now choosing to only partner with companies that demonstrate strong safety track records, a solid occupational health and safety program, and worker’s compensation benefits for injured employees.

The good news is that the number of non-fatal accidents and workplace injuries have decreased 1-2% every year from 20122014 in Texas. The state’s total number of non-fatal incidents is lower than the national average of 3%. Last year’s and this year’s data have yet to be released, but these are promising numbers for Texas’s highly industrialized economy.

Why Occupational Health and Safety is Important

Best safety practices don’t happen accidentally; they are the result of planning, forethought, and preparation. Without a solid OHS program, companies are putting lives at risk, especially in high-risk rigorous industries where there are workplace hazards everywhere. Employers have a responsibility to their workers and their workers’ families to provide safe working conditions. Poor safety practices can hurt those who work for you, creating many problems for your employees and their families. In addition, the number of safety incidents and workplace injuries on your record can compromise your Total Recordable Incidence Rate (TRIR), which determines your worker’s compensation premium. Your rating can also compromise your integrity in the eyes of potential customers and companies looking to do business.

What are Occupational Health Hazards?

Occupational health hazards can be anything that compromises health in the workplace. Employers should design occupational safety and health programs that assess and address every risk their employees face, from the smallest of safety hazards like repetitive motion injuries, to the largest hazards like material and equipment handling. In Texas, where petroleum, manufacturing, construction and transportation fall in the top 10 largest industries, employers should focus on areas where the most injuries and fatalities occur: transportation, explosions, contact with equipment, and harmful substances.

What are Occupational Health Clinics?

Companies with a more organized OHS program usually have selected occupational health clinics dedicated to the well-being of workers. Occupational health clinics provide a range of services including pre-employment drug screening, physicals, medical care, occupational therapy, medication, education, ergonomics training, and injury and illness prevention. Your company should have a worker’s compensation provider network on file in case of a workplace injury. These providers are usually prepared to treat different types of workplace injuries.

→ If you are looking for a medical provider for your worker’s compensation provider network, HHER in Tyler and Longview provides emergency care services for injured workers.