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America’s 10 Most Dangerous Jobs

You come to work, punch in your timecard and…your safety is suddenly at risk?
CNN recently compiled a list of the top 10 most dangerous jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s what they found:

1. Fisherman

TV shows like Deadliest Catch have certainly raised awareness about the harsh conditions that many fishermen work in. Part of this risk is due to working on the water, where Mother Nature reigns supreme. For every 100,000 fishermen, 121 will be killed on the job. Being thrown around on the boat, especially during storms, can also result in long-term injuries.

An emergency worker saws a tree that fell on a power line2. Logger

The fact that loggers make the list probably isn’t surprising, since most of their work involves heavy trees and chainsaws. Although most loggers are now protected in a cab, the industry is still a dangerous one.

3. Airline Pilot

Alaska is responsible for many of the fatalities among pilots. Inexperienced pilots or those flying older planes sometimes cannot combat Alaska’s challenging weather conditions and terrain.

4. Sanitation Worker

Although this listing might surprise some, sanitation workers often interact with dangerous chemicals, machines designed to compress trash or other materials and have increased exposure to traffic and the elements due to hopping on and off trucks.

5. Roofer

Falls post the greatest danger to roofers, but they also have an increased likelihood of injuries from fire, electric shock or heavy machinery, making this one of the most dangerous careers out there.

6. Iron Worker

Structural collapses is one of the most common dangers iron workers face, as well as falls and electrocutions from contacts with power lines. Their fatality rate per 100,000 workers is 26.9.

7. Farmer/Rancher

As you might guess, heavy machinery and vehicles are to blame for most fatalities in these fields. However, a significant amount of injuries and deaths are due to being kicked or thrown from horses.

8. Truckers/Deliverymen

In 2011, 759 truckers died while on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the challenges for this industry is that the trucks must be in tip-top shape and drivers must receive adequate sleep and rest. In the hustle and bustle of shipping, sometimes corners are cut, putting drivers in a dangerous position.

9. Electrical Power Line Repairmen

Falls and electrocution are the most likely suspects for these fatalities. Often the lines are worked on while “hot,” so that service is not interrupted and sometimes protective apparel and equipment fails. Unpredictable placement of lines after storms is also a major hazard.

10. Taxi Drivers

Obviously with the amount of time taxi drivers spend on the road their risk of car accident is significantly increased, taxi drivers are also at the mercy of their passengers.  According to CNN, as crime rates lower, so do fatalities among cab drivers.

See your job listed?

If you see your job on this list, you may have an increased chance of being injured at work. Make sure you know how to file a worker’s compensation claim.

If you were injured on the job, or someone you love was killed in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

NC Worker Killed: Heavy Rain Leads to Heavy Hearts

A torrent of rain in the NC Mountains caused a mudslide that claimed one worker’s life, earlier this May.

He was a husband and the father of three young children. And he was only 32 years old.

The worker was inspecting damage done to the rails by an earlier mudslide, near Black Mountain, when a second slide came through, trapping and killing him.

His coworker, who was inside their specialized truck at the time, survived – even though the truck was derailed. He then called for help and was rescued.

Man laying on floor victim of accident at work of constructionSafety Investigation:

As is standard policy for events such as these, the Federal Railroad Administration and the man’s employer are currently investigating the events. The NC Department of Transportation is also currently looking into it.

According to the Smoky Mountain News, the report on the investigation’s findings could take as much as a year to finalize – at which point the penalties can be enforced if applicable.

If a NC worker is killed while on the job, or as a result of a job, his or her family may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These could include:

  • Up to 500 weeks of compensation
  • $10,000 in funeral expenses
  • Reimbursement of medical expenses

But workers’ compensation claims can be a difficult and confusing path to forge. That’s why it may be important to have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.

At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we have an entire team devoted to NC workers’ compensation claims – including three North Carolina Board Certified Workers’ Compensation SpecialistsContact us for a free case evaluation today.

North Carolina Motorcycle Accidents – Helmet Law Debated

A bill moving through the North Carolina legislature could affect the safety of all motorcycle riders. The legislation, House Bill 109, would make the use of a motorcycle helmet optional for adults, repealing North Carolina’s current mandatory helmet law. According to News 14 Carolina, the House Transportation Committee has already approved the bill, and the bill has moved forward to the House Judiciary Committee for debate and a vote.

Unfortunately, this law would increase the risk of serious head injuries to motorcycle riders and passengers in the event of an accident. Our motorcycle accident lawyers know that helmets can significantly reduce the chances of death or serious injury. North Carolina’s current helmet laws mandate helmet use and have made the state one of the safest in terms of motorcycle death and accidents. Opponents of House Bill 109 believe that this new law would jeopardize the safety of all riders. Supporters contend riding free is a right and wearing a helmet is a choice. Experienced injury attorneys understand victims are due compensation regardless of helmet use when someone’s negligence causes a serious or fatal collision.

A grey black motorcycle and a red helmetNew Motorcycle Helmet Law Considered

House Bill 109 proposes some very important changes to the current law. If the bill passes, the mandatory motorcycle helmet requirement will be repealed. Instead, helmet use will be optional if:

  • The rider is 21 years of age or older.
  • The rider has had a motorcycle license or an endorsement for a period of at least twelve months.
  • The rider has successfully completed a course in motorcycle safety.
  • The rider has insurance that provides at least $10,000 in coverage for medical benefits after a motorcycle accident.

 

Under these new requirements, a good portion of adult riders who are currently required to wear helmets would now have the choice.

The Risks of the New NC Helmet Law

Those who support changing the rules on helmet use believe that the issue is a matter of personal freedom. They believe that no adult should be required to wear a helmet if he or she does not want to. Those who want the helmet laws changed also argue that helmet mandates divert attention from other proven safety strategies such as awareness and education.

Opponents, however, are concerned that the risk of death will increase if the mandatory helmet law is repealed. Opponents argue that the current law is working well, and there is plenty of evidence to support the claim. The CDC, for example, indicates that North Carolina leads in the United States in terms of both money saved and lives saved as a result of the helmet law.

Further, opponents of the change to the helmet laws indicate that states that have relaxed their helmet laws have seen an increase in both deaths and brain injuries. This increases the Medicaid costs for the state, and of course also results in more people coping with serious injuries.

With the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reporting that the number of motorcycle accident fatalities has been on the rise nationwide for 14 of the past 15 years, there are strong arguments to be made that nothing should be done to reduce motorcycle safety. The GHSA data also shows that just this past year a nine percent increase in the number of fatalities was reported.

Regardless of what the law is, we want all riders to be safe.  But unfortunately, accidents happen all the time through no fault of your own.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 1-866-900-7078.

The Numbers on Workers’ Deaths in NC Are in…but They’re Wrong?

Construction site safety. personal protective equipmentThe NC Department of Labor (NC DOL) reported that 35 employees were killed on the job last year, but the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH) says that number isn’t accurate.

In their late-April report, “North Carolina Workers Dying for a Job,” NCOSH says that they estimate that number to be closer to 129 – more than 3 times what NC DOL reported.

A report by WRAL says that the difference in the reported numbers is mainly because the state doesn’t count deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, workplace violence or the self-employed.

The federal audit & the outcome

The U.S. Labor Department audited North Carolina in 2010, and found that that the state “downplayed serious safety problems, issued weak fines to violators and failed to properly handle whistleblower complaints” according to the Charlotte Observer.

While the numbers are down from the previous year (53 reported by the NC DOL and 148 reported by the NCOSH for 2011), the NCOSH still does not believe the standards are strict enough.

“Clearly the absolute number of deaths has gone down…,” said NCOSH Executive Director Tom O’Connor, who wrote the report. “But there are still way too many people dying in easily preventable deaths”

Was your loved one killed at work?

If you were injured on the job, or a family member was killed at work, you may qualify for a workers’ compensation claim.

Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out how one of our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers may be able to help you.