OSHA investigating North Carolina workplace accident that claims life of Mount Airy tree trimmer

After multiple contacts with an electrical wire while tree trimming, a 28-year-old Mount Airy man lingered in critical condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for 10 days before dying, the Mount Airy News reported.

The Occupational Safety and Health division of the N.C. Department of Labor has six months to compete a workplace fatality investigation to determine whether non-compliance on the part of his employer played a role in this North Carolina work accident.

The incidents of electrically-related fatalities and injuries on the job have steadily been declining since 1994, IAEI Magazine reports. That year, 348 workers were killed and 6,018 were burned or injured severely enough to require time off from work. As of 2007, on-the-job electric shock fatalities have dropped to 212 and injures fallen to 2,540.

From 2003-2007, more than 28,400 workers were killed nationwide while on the job. The three most common causes of death were transportation accidents, assaults or violent acts, and falls. Further down on the scale, 1,213 workers were killed by job site electrocutions and another 13,150 workers missed time at work while recuperating from an electric shock.

During this time, 43 percent of electrically-related on-the-job fatalities were caused by coming in contact with an overhead power line. Conversely, just 2 percent of injuries were sustained by this type of accident. Such a wide-margin between fatalities and injuries offer a strong argument for specialized on-the-job training targeting those who work around power lines since inadvertent contact is much more likely to be fatal.

Whether training or additional safety equipment could have saved the Mount Airy man from death will be determined by investigators.

North Carolina injury attorneys with Lee & Smith know that being injured at work or losing a loved one in a fatal work-related accident can be among the most trying times in your life. If you have been injured, or someone you love has been injured or killed in a work-related accident, call us at 1-800-887-1965 or contact our law offices online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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