U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis recently commented on the recent release of the 2010 fatal occupational injuries report by stating “No worker should have to sacrifice his or her life to earn a living.”
Our Greensboro workers’ compensation attorneys couldn’t agree more knowing that 134 North Carolina employees died at work in 2010.
Fatal work injuries in Charlotte, Asheville and elsewhere in North Carolina occurred at a rate of more than 11 per month, on average, last year. Workers may think they work in a safe environment but it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure of that. Work environments should be hazard free from fall accidents, exposure to harmful substances, struck-by accidents and incidents related to transportation among others.
The Census of Fatal Work Injuries report for 2010 offered the following national preliminary key points:
- There were an initial total of 4,547 work injuries resulting in death reported in 2010, which was roughly the same as the final count of 4,551 in 2009. The 2010 total could still go up as there have been an average increase of 3 percent in final totals after the preliminary report was released the last three years. The final numbers will be released in Spring of 2012.
- Police officer fatalities rose 40 percent nationwide. The 2010 total was 134 compared to a total of 96 deaths in law enforcement in 2009.
- A decline of 9 percent less fatal work injuries was reported for African-American or non-Hispanic black workers in 2010 compared to an increase of 2 percent fatal work injuries for non-Hispanic white workers.
- Homicides taking place at work declined overall by 7 percent nationwide which equated to the fewest every recorded but female workplace homicides rose by 13 percent in 2010.
- There were more than twice as many work-related deaths caused by fire incidents in 2010 when compared to 2009. The 2009 total was 53 but rose to 109 in 2010. The 2010 total was the highest recorded since 2003.
- The private construction sector showed a decrease in workplace fatalities by 10 percent from the previous year. There has been a significant decline in fatal injuries by almost 40 percent since 2006 when construction jobs were at a peak.
- The private mining industry’s workplace fatalities almost doubled from 2009 to 2010. There were 99 fatal injuries in private mining in 2009 compared to 172 in 2010 equaling an increase of more than 70 percent. There were multiple death-related incidents from both the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and Upper Big Branch Mine which boosted these numbers significantly.
- Additionally, the work injury rate for deaths in mining rose to 19.9 per 100,000 FTE’s in 2010 from 12.4 per 100,000 in 2009.
- Wage and salary work fatalities rose 2 percent in 2010 in comparison to the 6 percent decrease in work deaths by self-employed workers.
- Transportation incidents proved to be the most fatal for North Carolina workers in 2010. There were 43 fatal transportation accidents, 31 violent acts and assaults at work, 23 fatal work injuries related to contact with equipment or objects, 22 fatal fall accidents and 15 instances where exposure to a harmful substance killed an employee.
If you or a co-worker has been injured as a result of unsafe work conditions, contact the North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.
More Blog Entries:
Job Loss Feared Despite Whistleblower Protection Program in North Carolina, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 12, 2011.
Despite Big Business Contentions – Injured Workers Deserve Fair Compensation in North Carolina, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 30, 2011.