The number of tragic accidents in the workplace dropped last year, and there was a 34 percent decline in workplace fatalities, according to preliminary numbers provided by the N.C. Department of Labor. There were 35 workplace deaths in 2012, down from 53 in 2011.
The department said that the rate for illness and injury in private industry is at an all-time low of 3.1 per 100 full-time workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina is one of the top 10 safest places to work.
Officials with the N.C. Department of Labor say that the department has increased its efforts to improve safety and to prevent workplace accidents from happening. The department's Occupational Safety and Health Division has created partnerships with businesses in some of the most hazardous industries to improve safety measures. Outreach efforts have included posters in the workplace and focused training sessions.
The OSH division identified "the big four" -- major hazards that accounted for 80 percent of workplace deaths in North Carolina over the past 10 years. These include "struck-by" accidents (such as being hit by objects and falling) and accidents involving fire, heat stress, and forklifts.
The construction industry had the most fatal accidents last year at 10. The number was down from 16 the previous year. Other dangerous industries included agriculture, forestry and fishing (7 fatal accidents), manufacturing (6 deaths), and the services industry (6 deaths).
Out of North Carolina's 100 counties, 75 saw no workplace deaths in 2012. The counties with the most fatalities included Gaston, Mecklenburg and Wake (each had three). Four counties had two fatalities each (Harnett, Iredell, Rockingham and Sampson), and the remaining counties had only one fatality each.
Men accounted for 34 of the 35 workplace deaths in 2012.
North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Zero is the only acceptable number of workplace deaths. Even though the number of workplace fatalities is declining, the workers' compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin won't be happy until there are no more tragic deaths.
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.