Incidents of North Carolina fatal work accidents down, as are national numbers for work-related injuries

North Carolina fatal work-related accidents claimed the lives of 158 workers in 2007 and represented a decrease of 10 deaths from 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. In fact, North Carolina has seen a steady decline in work-related fatal accidents since reaching a peak of 228 in 1998, hitting a 15-year low in 2007.

Highway incidents (collision and non-collision) were the leading cause of both North Carolina and national work-related deaths, with North Carolina holding a slightly higher percentage than the national average. Following highway incidents for leading causes of North Carolina workplace deaths were homicides, falls and being struck by an object.

Homicides in the workplace claimed the lives 16 percent of North Carolina workers, a slightly elevated number from the national average of 11 percent. Falls and being struck both saw a dip from 2006 state statistics, with falling deaths lower than the national average and being struck on par with the national rate. These four categories are responsible for about 60 percent of all North Carolina workplace deaths.

In 9 out of 10 incidents of a North Carolina workplace fatality, the victim is male, more than likely white, and between the ages of 25 and 54. In 2007, 144 of the 158 work-related deaths in the state were men. The other 14 were women, and nearly 60 percent of them died due to a violent encounter. Construction and trade, transportation and utilities are the two industry sectors responsible for more than 56 percent of all workplace fatalities.

Meanwhile, the BLS is also reporting that across the nation non-fatal illnesses and injury cases that require workers to take days away from work to recuperate have dropped by 9 percent in 2009. Some of the decrease can be attributed to better enforcement and implementation of worker safety protocols and training. Still, labor experts attribute at least some of the decline to the depressed economy and high unemployment rate, particularly in industries that have taken a significant hit like construction and manufacturing.

The Greensboro workers’ compensation lawyers with Lee & Smith know that being injured or losing a loved one to a work-related fatal accident can be a devastating experience and we are here to help. Call us at 1-800-887-1965 or contact our law offices online today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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