Annual Report Reveals Numerous Investigations into Workplace Safety at North Carolina Businesses and Job Sites

The North Carolina Department of Labor is responsible for promoting the health and safety of over 4 million employees working in over 250,000 businesses or establishments throughout the state.

Asheville workers’ compensation lawyers understand that keeping track of this many employees must be difficult to the say the least. But it is as much up to the employer as it is the Department of Labor to keep these workers from getting injured on company time in Charlotte, Statesville or elsewhere in the state.
The N.C. Department of Labor recently released their 2010 annual report. In a two-part series we will summarize the report in an overview of the three Divisions followed by a more detailed look at the Bureaus within each Division.

The following is an overview of the Standards and Inspections Division, Occupational Safety & Health Division and Administration Division found in the 2010 Fiscal Year (FY) report.

Standards and Inspections Division
This Division is comprised of six bureaus which include: Apprenticeship and Training, Boiler Safety, Elevator and Amusement Device, Employment Discrimination, Mine & Quarry and Wage & Hour.

-In FY 2010, there were over 3,000 apprenticeship programs completed in North Carolina.

-The Boiler Safety Bureau found 2,771 violations during more than 51,000 inspections of pressure equipment.

-In FY 2010, there were more than 19,500 elevator inspections and 7,198 amusement devices evaluated throughout the year.

-Almost 800 complaints were received by the Employment Discrimination Bureau which resulted in 778 investigations being conducted at differed work sites.

-The Mine and Quarry Bureau inspected and evaluated 448 active and abandoned mines.

-Over 46,000 youth employment certificates were issued by the Wage and Hour Bureau. There were 51 youth employment complaints that needed investigated in FY 2010.

Occupational Safety & Health Division
A total of five bureaus make up the Occupational Safety and Health Division which include Agriculture Safety and Health, Compliance, Consultative Services, Education, Training and Technical Assistance and Planning, Statistics & Information Management.

-Over $73,000 in penalties was handed out by the Agriculture Safety and Health Bureau in relation to 182 violations found in companies throughout the state.

-The Compliance Bureau issued more than 10,000 violations resulting in over $5.8 million in penalties.

-There were almost 5,400 serious hazards issued by the Consultative Bureau in FY 2010.

-Over 300 courses, workshops or forums were offered by the Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau to help train over 7,500 employers and workers.

-In FY 2010, the Planning, Statistics and Information Management Bureau received 955 disclosure requests of which 850 were processed.

Administration Division
Several divisions make up Administration ranging from Budget to Communication to Legal Affairs. Some of the highlights for this Division include:

-The help desk responded to over 3,000 calls.

-A review was completed of rules and regulations to determine which ones were no longer needed.

Overall it looks like the N.C. Department of Labor did a lot of work last year and yet far too many occupational injuries and fatalities still occurred on the job in 2010. Too many North Carolina employers are committing violations for unsafe work environments on a daily basis, which puts workers at risk of serious injury or illness. On-site inspections and hefty penalties need to continue until employers get the message that unsafe work environments are unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.

If you have experienced a severe work injury or contracted a fatal illness from an unsafe work environment in North Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for free no-obligation appointment to discuss the details of your case. Call 1-800-887-1965 to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today.

More Blog Entries:
Young Workers in Restaurant Industry Require Training to Help Avoid Work Injuries in Statesville, Elsewhere, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 14, 2011.

OSHA Cites Industrial Facility Lacking Worker Safeguards with $113,400 in Fines, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 9, 2011.

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