Workers should be able to expect a safe working environment. Yet everyday, workers across North Carolina are seriously injured or even killed on the job.
Last year, despite the availability of safety and health training programs designed to avoid these tragedies, North Carolina actually saw a rise in the number of workplace fatalities. The North Carolina Department of Labor announced that 53 people died on the job in 2011, an increase of three fatalities from the previous year.
Workplace Fatalities, By the Numbers
Accidents involving workers being hit by vehicles or equipment were the most significant cause of work-related deaths (18 of the 53 deaths), and construction workers were the most at risk of suffering fatal accidents (16 of the 53 deaths). Here are some other highlights from the report:
- 17 workers died as a result of falls
- Deaths in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries increased 150 percent (from 4 to 10)
- Wake County saw the most fatalities of any county in the state (6)
- The majority of work-related deaths were men (52 of 53)
There were some bright spots in the report. The finance, insurance, real-estate, service, and manufacturing industries saw a decline in the number of workplace deaths. There were no work-related fatalities in 67 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.
Preventable Workplace Tragedy
Though the rise in the number of work-related deaths was small, it shows that accidents can still happen and that employers need to take safety seriously.
“The real tragedy is that all of these fatalities could have been avoided by having proper safety and health training, which we provide free of charge,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said in a statement. “I encourage all employers to pick up the phone and call the Department of Labor to take advantage of our safety training services that are customized to meet their specific needs.”
One death on the job is too many. If you lost a loved one to a work-related accident, would you be comforted by hearing that there was only a “slight” increase in incidents across the state?
If you or a loved one were seriously injured on the job, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help. Contact us right now to discuss the details of your case and find out if we can help. Your initial case evaluation is free.