Fatal Work-Related Transportation Accident a Reminder to Drive Safe in North Carolina Throughout the Holidays

Workers’ compensation attorneys in Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Statesville and elsewhere hope that everyone drives safely this holiday season to help avoid a serious or fatal work-related transportation accident in North Carolina or elsewhere.
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We recently posted on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, that a state trooper, along with two other vehicle occupants were injured in a work accident in North Carolina. The police officer was responding to a potential drunk driving arrest. Many of us associate work-related transportation accidents to jobs that require emergency response efforts. But that isn’t the only time that workers are in danger of being involved or struck by a vehicle that can cause serious injury or death while performing a job task.

IndependentMail.com recently reported about a worker who was struck and killed by a passing car while he was working at a job site in South Carolina. The employee had just arrived at the site and was assisting a group of workers from the town’s water department who were working to repair an underground line. A 2005 Honda hit the worker as it passed by. The town employee was taken to AnMed Health and Medical Center by ambulance where he was later pronounced dead from chest and head trauma. The 47 year-old man had worked for the town water department for 10 years and town officials state he is the third employee to be killed while working in the small South Carolina town of Honea Path. No charges have been filed but the accident is still under investigation. The South Carolina Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Labor have both been notified of the fatal occupational injury.

Earlier this year, the North Carolina Department of Labor reported that there were 48 fatal occupational injuries in 2010. The two most common causes of death at work in North Carolina last year were fall accidents and struck-by accidents, which in many cases were related to transportation incidents. Though the 48 fatal workplace accidents were below the previous five-year average of 53.2, it was an increase from 2009 in which 34 occupational deaths were recorded.

Employees who rely on transportation to perform their job responsibilities have been given the following Safe Driving Practices for Employees by the NC Department of Labor:

-Always give driving your full attention rather than allowing yourself to be easily distracted.

-Remain calm, courteous and patient every time you get behind the wheel rather than engage in aggressive driving practices with other motorists.

-Make sure tools and equipment are tightly secured rather than leave them loose, where they can cause severe injury if they become airborne.

-Never drive drowsy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol as these are two common causes of transportation incidents at work.

Much attention is given to the safety of drivers in transportation accidents but very little attention is given to the safety of workers at risk of being struck by a vehicle. Employers have a responsibility to make sure these workers are protected by creating a safe work zone and making them visible to other motorists who are passing by. All workers have a right to be protected from a work-related accident so employers must take the necessary actions to make sure that happens each and every day on the job.

If you have been injured in a work-related transportation accident in North or South Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free initial consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim with an experienced attorney. Call 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Town worker in Honea Path hit by car, dies, by Kirk Brown, IndependentMail.com.

More Blog Entries:
Workers Subject to Severe Injuries Caused by Explosions at Tire-Servicing Jobs in Asheville, Elsewhere North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, December 16, 2011.

Charlotte Firefighters at Risk of Accident, Injury While Responding to 911 Calls, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 11, 2011.

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