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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.