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Three Types of Incidents Represent 80 Percent of Fatal NC Workplace Injuries

Mar 24, 2015 Brown Moore Workers' Compensation

Recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a 29 percent decrease in fatal NC workplace injuries between 2012 (146 incidents) and 2013 (104 incidents). Still, any Charlotte workplace injury attorney who has helped families through the anguish of needlessly losing a loved one would say this number is still too high.

Even though it is not reasonable to expect a 100 percent reduction in fatal workplace accidents, just three types of incidents are responsible for the majority of deaths:

  • Transportation (39 percent)
  • Contact with objects and equipment (22 percent)
  • Violence (19 percent)

Many of these incidents can be prevented with a greater degree of care.

Greater Awareness Helps Prevent Traffic Fatalities

As in North Carolina, work-related motor vehicle incidents continue to represent the leading cause of work-related fatalities across the U.S. Naturally, observing the rules of the road and applying defensive driving techniques is important for any driver. However, workers and their employers need to recognize that driving for business can introduce additional risks, such as the following:

  • Rushing due to deadlines imposed by employers or clients can encourage drivers to take additional risks on the road.
  • Distractions caused by workplace voice or textphone contact during travel can take employee attention off the road even to a greater degree than social contact.
  • Absent-mindedness is common as employees focus thoughts to plan the details for upcoming meetings or practice their presentations one last time before the big event.

Maintenance and Training Can Reduce Equipment –Related Accidents

Employers need to take the lead to prevent the accidents that most commonly occur at construction sites and factories. Two actions can make a major difference in these accidents:

  • Regular equipment maintenance helps prevent a large number of accidents caused by machinery malfunctions, as well as by ad-hoc repairs conducted by workers.
  • Strict adherence to safety procedures must be emphasized so workers consistently use all safety equipment and operate with due caution in the presence of dangerous equipment.

A Reduction in Workplace Violence Events is Possible

The recent tragedy at Charlie Hebdo in Paris is a clear reminder that preventing all external acts of workplace violence is not a realistic expectation. However, workers and employers that recognize the internal situations that lead to violence in the workplace can forecast risks and take preventive action. The following are some common situations that can increase the risk of workplace violence:

  • Terminations are a common reason why workers “go postal.”
  • In-fighting between workers can come to blows or worse without responsible intervention by employers.
  • Employee mental health issues may have nothing to do with the job, per se; however, they can cause worker violence against other people or against themselves.

When to Seek Legal Assistance

Families that lose loved ones in workplace incidents can generally expect to receive workers’ compensation survivor benefits to help offset some of the expenses related to their loss. However, when third parties are liable for a tragic loss, families can often pursue wrongful death lawsuits, as well.

Dedicated attorneys relieve the devastation of a needless loss of life, but they can help families move forward after a tragic loss. Call us at 800-948-0577, or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation and learn how we can help.