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Asheville Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Worker killed in industrial accident with sulfuric acid

People here in North Carolina take great pride in the work they do. The completion of a workday gives many a sense of satisfaction and purpose. However, there are dangers of which many workers may be unaware. This could have been the case for one out of state man who recently lost his life in what authorities have noted was a serious industrial accident.

The man worked at an industrial plant. Officials are uncertain how the incident occurred exactly, but word is that he somehow fell into a vat of sulfuric acid. His fellow employees pulled him from the vat as soon as they realized the danger, though no one is sure how long the man was there. They attempted to save him by putting him into a safety shower before paramedics took him to a local hospital. Unfortunately, the man did not survive.

Scaffolding fall injures 2 construction workers

Construction work is a vital part of the North Carolina economy, but it can also be a very dangerous industry. Workers that suffer injuries or, even worse, lose their lives, probably don't ever think that harm will befall them while on the job. Still, construction workers' accidents can and do happen, such as a recent out-of-state incident that left two workers and a pedestrian injured after a scaffolding fall.

On a recent afternoon, two construction workers were working to resurface the brick exterior of a hotel. Somehow, a outside construction elevator collapsed and fell to the sidewalk. The two workers were injured -- one of them was forced to hang from the ledge of the building before he was saved. A woman walking by was also injured by the falling scaffolding. Local streets had to be closed for a period of time due to safety concerns.

Workplace accident: Fatalities down for 2018

Employment is a necessary part of most people's lives. Even those who work in industries with an increased risk of injury or death likely never think that a workplace accident will happen to them. The unfortunate reality is that many people are hurt on the job, and some even lose their lives. There is good news, however -- the North Carolina Department of Labor says that the rate of workplace deaths in 2018 decreased from the number reported in 2017.

The decrease is only slight -- there was one less death in 2018 than in 2017 -- but the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the state's DOL remains optimistic about its efforts to lower these fatalities. The Labor Commissioner says that tracking these deaths is vital to raise awareness of potential dangers at workplaces. He also says it allows them to determine ways to prevent the incidents from ever happening.

Common job injuries that workers overlook: Do you have one?

North Carolina employees can often receive workers' compensation benefits for their job-related health conditions. For example, if you trip at the office and break your ankle, your employer's workers' compensation insurance should pay for your medical care. Or, if you develop a repetitive use injury from typing too much, you might also be able to receive benefits.

But what if you get hurt by your job but you fail to realize the health problem is connected to your employment? You'll fail to report the injury to your employer, and you'll fail to pursue a workers' compensation claim. You'll never receive the valuable benefits to which you're entitled.

Collapsed trench kills worker in construction accident

The construction industry is vital to North Carolina. Not only is it needed to create buildings and structures, but it employs a great deal of people. Unfortunately, it can also be a very dangerous industry for workers. A recent fatal construction accident makes this danger all too clear, as authorities work to determine exactly what went wrong.

Employees for a subcontractor were building a retaining wall for a company that was constructing an apartment complex. That morning, workers were digging a trench in preparation for that wall, but the trench collapsed, burying a construction worker in dirt. Other workers made two calls to 911, but the man was not able to be freed in time. The job site was shut down for two days in order to review safety procedures with workers.

Meat plant facing OSHA fines after workplace injury

Companies here in North Carolina are both legally and morally responsible for the safety of their employees. Failure to protect those who work for them is unconscionable, but safety violations still occur all too frequently. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Labor has the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to outline and enforce safety procedures to keep each employee free from harm and avoid a workplace injury. OSHA recently investigated an accident at a meat plant that resulted in a chemical burn injury to an employee.

An out-of-state beef processing plant was hit with several violations relating to process safety management. OSHA found that an employee was exposed to anhydrous ammonia, which is a gas that is often used as a refrigerant. The employee in question experienced severe burns as a result. OSHA has levied penalties for 16 serious safety violations, totaling over $180,000.

Fatal industrial accidents: Man pinned by conveyor belt

Industrial employees are a vital part of our economy here in North Carolina and around the country. Their jobs can sometimes involve hidden dangers, and industrial accidents are a frightening reality for many employees and their families. One recent accident cost an industrial employee his life, leaving authorities to attempt to determine exactly what happened.

A man who worked out of state for L Brands, Bath and Body Works was working with another employee to load boxes onto a delivery truck on a recent late night. They were using a conveyor belt that expanded into the trailer. One employee was loading the boxes onto the conveyor belt when he heard some loud noises that sounded like the boxes were falling off the conveyor. He found the other employee trapped in the trailer between the conveyor belt and a wall of boxes. Employees had to move the wall of boxes around the man because he was so tightly pinned in place.

Man dies after accident on the job involving dump truck

Employees in North Carolina and all around the country rely on their jobs to provide for themselves and their families. The sense of pride they often feel in a job well-done is compounded in the knowledge that they are ensuring the needs of their loved ones are met. An accident on the job could interfere with their ability to take care of those who are most important to them. A recent out of state workplace accident that cost a man his life may mean that any family he had could be devastated emotionally as well as financially.

Authorities say that the accident happened on a recent afternoon in South Carolina. The 42-year-old man worked at a recycling center, as a dump truck driver. At this point, details of exactly what happened haven't been released, though officials say that the man was struck by the tail gate on his dump truck. Despite being rushed to a local hospital for surgery, he died of his injuries that same evening.

Do undocumented workers benefit from workers' compensation?

Imagine you arrived from Guatemala 10 years ago and, due to circumstances outside of your control, you needed to stay in the country. Maybe your family was in desperate need of your help in the United States. The problem is, you ended up overstaying your visa and you've been an undocumented laborer ever since.

A situation like this could be frightening -- especially now in the current immigration climate. To add even more fear and uncertainty to the equation, you recently suffered a catastrophic injury while working in your farming job. You're no longer able to work as a result of broken bones and other injuries, you can't earn an income and you have no idea how to pay for your medical care.

Winter weather can increase likelihood of workplace accidents

The winter months can be a busy time for employees of many kinds. Though retail employees immediately come to mind, it can also be a busy time for those in construction or manufacturing work here in North Carolina. This time of year can bring added stress to a workplace, especially in hazardous weather conditions. There are several things that employers can do in order to minimize the potential for workplace accidents.

Nearly three million workplace injuries happened in the United States in 2017, and it is not presumptuous to think that winter weather may have been a factor in many of those accidents. Heavy snowfall and ice can cause many different kinds of injuries. Slips or trips and falls can happen if walkways or stairways are not kept clear of ice. Icy roads and poor visibility can lead to vehicle crashes where employees may even lose their lives or suffer serious injury. Those employees who work outside could be subject to frostbite or hypothermia, depending on weather conditions.

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