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Injury can even occur at North Carolina's gold star work sites

The North Carolina Department of Labor is devoted to the health and safety of those who are employed within the state. The agency spends a lot of time enforcing the rules and regulations that help ensure the state's safety standards are met. The agency also honors the businesses and employees that have taken great care to try to live up to those expectations.

The Department of Labor recently held its annual safety awards banquet in Morganton. There, the awards recognizing contributions made throughout 2013 were handed out to recipients from cities across the state. Each of the companies associated with an award had to qualify under certain standards. These standards may surprise some of our readers.

The requirement that no fatalities had occurred at the site on which the award was based is to be expected. Beyond that, there are two levels: gold and silver. Criteria for the gold award "are based on a DART rate that is at least 50 percent below the statewide industry" that includes injury cases involving a worker that missed a day or more of work, required restricted activity or needed to transfer jobs.

Silver award ratings are based only on the cases that involved a worker missing one full day or more after the injury was suffered. In this situation, the worksite must have an incident rate that is below the rate for the industry by at least 50 percent.

When an injury is suffered on the job, the individual can seek workers' compensation benefits to help pay for medical treatment, lost wages, permanent injuries, decrease in pay, transportation to a doctor, retraining costs and even to help compensate for care that was provided by a family member.

An injury must qualify for workers' compensation benefits, but the proof is based on whether the injury was sudden, caused in an accident and arose out of the scope of employment. These gold and silver standards alone show that injuries still occur even on safe websites.

Source: WWMT, "House approves bill to speed rape kit testing," May 22, 2014

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