Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”
New numbers released by the North Carolina Department of Labor show that it has become safer for individuals to work in the state. The DOL numbers revealed that the number of workplace injuries and illnesses dropped to 2.9 per 100 full-time workers in 2012. The number is down from the fairly consistent rate of 3.1 incidents per 100 workers that has been seen for the last few years.
Officials with the state say that not only has the number come down relative to the previous year, but the number is also down substantially from where it was just a little over a decade ago. Back in 1999, the injury/illness rate stood at 5.7 per 100 workers, almost double where it is today. North Carolina has followed a national trend of declining on-the-job injuries, with the high-water mark for most states occurring in 1999. Nationally, the injury rate was 6.3 per every 100 workers and has now fallen to 3.4 incidents per 100.
Experts say that North Carolina’s continual decline in workplace accidents and injuries has occurred because of more stringent state and national laws regulating workplace safety. Aggressive action by OSHA inspectors and their North Carolina equivalents have forced employers to more carefully train workers and better watch over the conditions of their workplaces.
Another development that has helped lower accident rates is participation in workers’ compensation insurance programs. Because businesses must obtain insurance to provide for their workers in the event of an on-the-job accident, they are subjected to increased premiums if insurers believe the employer does not do enough to encourage safety in the workplace. Those companies without good safety programs have to pay higher insurance rates, something that forces companies to consider the impact that poor safety standards can have on their bottom lines.
Another good bit of news for workers in North Carolina is that workplace deaths were also down from last year. Workplace fatalities fell 34 percent between 2011 and 2012. The DOL says that there were 53 death in 2011 compared to 35 deaths last year. This number is down considerably from 2005, when a total of 68 workers lost their lives at work.
Though the trend is good news for all workers, the DOL also released a snapshot of statistics comparing injury rates across industries. The number proved what most people already understand: some professions are substantially more dangerous than others. While the overall injury rate for the state last year was 2.9 incidents per 100 workers, those in the wood product manufacturing industry suffered injury rates of 5.3 per 100 workers, dramatically higher. Agricultural workers had 4 incidents per 100 workers and construction workers saw 2.8 incidents per 100 workers. On the other hand, those with office jobs were substantially less likely to suffer workplace accidents, with those in the finance and insurance industries experiencing only 0.4 incidents per 100 workers.
If you, or someone you know, have any questions regarding personal injury claims, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys and lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828.
About the Author:
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on Personal Injury, Family Law and Business Litigation. Mr. Arnold began his career handling insurance defense litigation for several major insurance companies. He also went on to handle business litigation cases and high value mortgage fraud cases, primarily in Superior Court.
Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.
“Workplace injuries and illnesses drop in North Carolina,” by Samantha Gilman, published at CharlotteObserver.com.
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