A recent article in the News & Observer reported that North Carolina work injuries and illness are reported less frequently than occupational mishaps reported in most other states. Much of the credit was given to employee training programs.
Workers’ compensation attorneys in Greensboro, Charlotte and throughout the state know that many cases still go unreported so employers shouldn’t hurt their arm on the way to patting themselves on the back after hearing the news offered in the recent occupational injury and illness report. In 2010, the injury rate for North Carolina work accidents was 3.1 cases per 100 full-time workers. If you ask us, 1 case per 1 million employees nationwide is too many considering employers have an obligation to create safe work environments and protect employees from risk associated with their job.
According to the article, only three states, Louisiana, Texas and New York, reported fewer workplace injuries and accidents than the Tar Heel state last year. Since 1999, the work injury rate for North Carolina has decreased by more than 45 percent. The injury rate in 1999 was 5.7 injuries per 100 workers compared to 3.1 reported last year in North Carolina. Outsourcing, layoffs, off-shoring and cost-cutting strategies are factors in causing the lower accident rate because the rate is measured per 100 employees, not by overall work accidents reported throughout the state.
In a recent press release, North Carolina Department of Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry commented on how proud she is of the drop in injury and illness rate during her tenure. Berry states “The record low injury and illness rate is a credit to the employers and employees of our state.”
Berry feels much of the improvement has been due to the successful joint efforts of the Department, management and those employees performing dangerous work tasks in taking work safety more seriously. Much of the focus made by the state is on the dangerous industries like manufacturing and construction that put workers at risk of injury or illness on a daily basis. The NC Department of Labor provides free training sessions, free consultative visits to work sites and builds strong alliances and partnerships with employers to help reduce work injuries and illnesses that can occur in an unsafe work environment.
North Carolina employers should never stop working to improve worker safety until zero accidents are reported monthly or annually. Continuing to evaluate work environments, providing necessary protective equipment and ensuring employees have proper training about work safety while performing certain job duties are the first steps in keeping workers from getting injured or sick on the job.
North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys can assist injured workers in taking the needed steps to make a complaint against their employer or file a disability claim to help pay for damages suffered while working on the job. Employees fearful of the consequences should speak with an experienced work injury lawyer to gain the confidence to fight for what is rightfully yours.
If you have been injured on the job in North Carolina or are in the process of filing a disability claim in South Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. to get experienced advice regarding the details of your claim. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free and confidential appointment with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Work injuries low in North Carolina, by John Murawski, News & Observer.
More Blog Entries:
Experienced North Carolina Law Firm Can Help with Complicated Workers’ Compensation Claims in North Carolina, South Carolina, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 12, 2011.
Fewer Willful Violation Citations in North Carolina Leads to High Rate of Workplace Injuries in Unsafe Work Environments, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 15, 2011.
Work Site Safety Inspections Important in Reducing Work Injuries in Charlotte, Asheville, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 27, 2011.