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Report sheds light on workplace fatality reporting errors

The North Carolina Department of Labor recently released statistics related to the number of injuries and fatalitis that occur at workplaces around the state. While the Labor Department reports that during 2012 a total of 35 workers where killed while performing work-related duties, researchers at the National Council on Occupational Safety adn Health contendbelieve that number to be far greater. 

When reporting job-related injuries and fatalities, the analysts at the Department of Labor do not include fatal accidents that resulted from motor vechile accidents. This exclusion, however, is significant as such accidents accounted for nearly 300 work fatalities over a five-year timeframe. 

Other key findings of the report which is entitled "North Carolina Workers Dying for a Job," include the fact that employers found in violation of safety regulations continue to get off easy. In many cases, employers who violate safe labor laws incur minimal fines which equate to a slap on the wrist. This, safety advocates argue, is a major problem that the state needs to figure out how to rectify.

Speaking out about this issue, Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry asserts she'd rather have employers spend money to ensure they are in compliance with safety laws than pay the government fines. unfortunately, despite being continually cited for safety violations, some North Carolina employers fail to take the issue of workplace safety seriously. As a result of this negligence, employees continue to pay the price as they are injured and killed in workplace accidents.

North Carolina workers who have sustained injuries while performing work duties may choose to take legal action. A worker's compensation claim may be an appropriate means to recover compensation related to workplace injuries.

 

Source: Charlotte Observer, "NC job deaths undercounted, study finds," Ames Alexander, April 30, 2013

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