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Workplace fatalities increase in North Carolina in 2014

The Labor Department in North Carolina recently reported that the number of workplace accident injury-related deaths doubled in the state between 2013 and 2014 from 23 to 44 fatalities. The victims of the workplace accidents ranged in age from 20 to 82, while the average age was 43, and the fatalities occurred across races, including whites, blacks and Hispanics. Of the workplace accident fatalities, the construction industry accounted for 43 percent.

The leading cause of workplace fatalities was due to workers being struck by objects followed by falls and workers becoming trapped in between objects. According to the department, data revealed that construction industry accidents commonly occurred soon after a construction worker began in the industry which suggests workers are not receiving adequate education and training to protect their safety. The manufacturing industry accounted for the second highest number of workplace accident-related deaths and the service industry saw an increase in workplace accident related deaths.

Workplace safety is a serious concern for workers. Workers injured or otherwise harmed in a workplace accident may have different resources available to help them with the damages and harm they have suffered. Workers' compensation options may help with medical expenses, lost wages and survivor's benefits. In some circumstances, if the negligence of another party caused the accident, there may be additional personal injury options available to the injured worker and the worker's family.

When a worker is injured, or otherwise harmed, in an accident on the job because of an unsafe working environment, it is important to fully understand the resources available to help. The legal options and resources available are designed to help compensate workers and their families for the harm and damages suffered.

Source: Winston Salem Journal, "Workplace deaths nearly double in North Carolina," Jan. 24, 2015

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