There are a number of workers in industries that may not assume or considered they could suffer an injury or illness in a workplace accident, or even be killed in a fatal work incident. Unfortunately, even occupations that appear relatively safe have risks and dangers associated to them. All workers in North Carolina and other states in the nation could potentially be victims in a fatal work-related incident.
Unfortunately, there have been multiple workplace accidents in North Carolina recently. Most recently, several hours east in the state's capital, a scaffolding accident occurred when scaffolding broke free from a high rise construction project. The scaffolding accident occurred when the scaffolding broke free from the façade of the project workers were working on. Several men were on the scaffolding when it broke free and the scaffolding fall resulted in the death of three workers and injured a fourth.
North Carolina employees may be interested in some information about the danger of ignoring safety protocols in our nation's airports. Due to multiple factors, serious accidents and damage to aircraft can occur.
The National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health states that falls are a leading cause of work-related deaths. They specifically caution employers against the unsafe operation of suspension scaffold equipment.
Every year, millions of workers are hurt and injured in accidents on job sites and workplaces in North Carolina and around the country. Workplace deaths and injuries have declined 65 percent and 67 percent respectively since the 1970s, but continued outreach and education around workplace safety can drive on the job accident rates down even further.
New regulations for reporting workplace injuries and deaths were announced on Sept. 11 but won't take effect until the new year. Current regulations allow businesses to keep quiet about severe injuries or fatalities unless three or more people are involved. The changes will mean that employers must report deaths and serious injuries to OSHA quickly even if they include only one or two workers, which is something that North Carolina workers might be glad to hear.
North Carolina residents who are employees of the federal government may want to familiarize themselves with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's rules. Although federal employees are required to protect themselves by complying with health and safety policies and procedures, certain workplace hazards may be unavoidable, especially if an employer puts its employees in the line of danger unnecessarily. In the fiscal year of 2004, 165,000 federal employees were injured or fell ill as a result of a workplace accident or injury, and workers' compensation costs for federal employees reached over $2.3 billion over the same period.
A 31-year-old educational forest ranger died from the injuries he suffered while he was working at the Tuttle State Educational Forest in Lenoir. The Aug. 13 incident occurred during the afternoon hours when a tree suddenly split and violently struck the worker's chest as he was using a tractor to move it away from the park's roadway. The ranger, who was immediately transported to a local hospital for treatment, succumbed to his injuries a short time later, according to the report.
According to reports, the Obama Administration is addressing a common safety hazard through new rules that restrict electric utility workers from free climbing transmission towers. Most workers in jobs that require climbing must wear safety harnesses, but several electric utility companies allow free climbing. As an example, cellular tower workers have been required to use harnesses since the 1990s. It is not uncommon for utility workers to reach heights of 180 feet or more using step bolts.
Employees are more likely to feel comfortable in their jobs and will make the greatest effort when they know that their employers are watching out for their best interests. This includes making workers feel safe in North Carolina, which allows them to go to work in good condition and return home uninjured. In the future, knowledge about workplace injuries could become more widely available, thus holding companies even more accountable for any work accident that occurs on their premises.