North Carolina work injuries are common in many industries, but most of us probably don’t consider a transportation-related injury at work in Greensboro, Gastonia or elsewhere a legitimate workers’ compensation claim because car accidents are so common for many Americans on a daily basis.
On the contrary, workers can be injured in a car accident in various ways while performing their duties for an employer. Your job may require the use of a vehicle to perform your job, visit a client, transport merchandise, or run an errand on company time. Not only are police officers, rescue workers or firemen at risk of a collision with another vehicle while performing their duties, but construction zone workers, postal workers, landscapers that work near the road are also at risk of being injured by a vehicle at work, and the list goes on.
Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys know how devastating it is for a family to lose a loved one that has been killed while performing their job duties. A Sheriff’s Deputy in Greene County was recently killed in a high speed chase because the Greene County Police Department has no formal policy in place with regard to limiting an employee’s speed in high speed chases.
The Beaufort Observer Online reports it’s the second officer killed in recent months (the first incident occurred in Beaufort County) after being involved in a high speed chase. Some departments in North Carolina have a policy that requires a supervisor’s approval to go over the posted speed limit by so many miles per hour but neither Greene nor Beaufort County have speed-related policies in place.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that almost two-fifths of the estimated 4,340 fatal work injuries in 2009 were caused by transportation accidents. Highway accidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities, ahead of falls, homicides, and being struck by an object. North Carolina reported 51 fatal transportation work-related incidents in 2009. Highway incidents were the leading cause of fatality at 34, which included 13 fatalities caused by collisions between vehicles and 5 fatalities caused by a non-collision highway incident.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration reports that a car crash occurs nationwide every 5 seconds and someone dies every 12 minutes as a result of a horrendous crash.
On average, employers dish out about $60 billion per year for legal expenses, medical care, lost work, and property damage as a result of transportation incidents. Employers who employ commuters, oversee a fleet of vehicles, manage a sales industry or require transportation to perform duties on the job are recommended to devise a driver safety program within their company to reduce the cost associated with work injuries from transportation-related accidents.
A driver safety program should attempt to change employees’ attitudes and behaviors about being a safe driver and reward them for safety-conscious behavior like not using their cell phone while they are behind the wheel.
Employees who work in a transportation-related industry should remember to practice safe driving behaviors in order to avoid a tragedy but if your employer doesn’t take driving safety seriously and you are injured in an accident, consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately to discuss your case.
The Lee Law Offices, P.A are experienced workers’ compensation attorneys who represent victims and their families in North or South Carolina. If you or someone close to you has been involved in a transportation accident at work, call for a free initial consultation at 1-800-887-1965.
Another officer loses his life in a high speed accident, Beaufort Observer Online
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Start Series on Job Hazards, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawye
s Blog, July 23, 2011
Distracted Driving: A Workplace Hazard in Hickory, Throughout North Carolina, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, June 13, 2011
Crashes with Emergency Vehicles in North Carolina require Experienced Law Firm, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 18, 2011