Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Fallen workers recognized in North Carolina state capitol

When someone you love dies on the job, there's little you can do but collect your benefits from workers' compensation or file a wrongful death claim. You may wonder what is being done to change things in the workplace to prevent accidents like those that took your family member's life. Incidents typically go through an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

From there, the business is penalized if there were violations. Some businesses are placed on watch lists, but others without violations go without penalties. Regardless, your loved one is still gone.

It's important for the public to understand the scope of the problem, which is one of the reasons why 150 fallen workers have been recognized by the tolling of the bell in the state capitol. Started in 1970, Workers Memorial Day is an event that draws attention to those who have lost their lives on the job. It was created by the AFL-CIO, a particularly important organization that calls for better worker safety, higher fines and stricter oversight.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistic's latest count for workplace deaths in North Carolina was 150, which is why the bell tolled 150 times. This is a rise from 2014, when 137 people were killed on the job.

At this event, loved ones gather to share stories, hold pictures and memorialize their loved ones. Some were involved in accidents at companies with long histories of safety violations, previous worker injuries or previous worker deaths. The event also brings people together including those advocating workers in all industries.

Workers Memorial Day can't help undo what has happened in the past, but it's an important day that points out how safety violations can impact families and friends of those injured and killed. There are some things you can look out for in your workplace.

Watch out for dangerous lighting hazards, exposure to chemicals or a lack of safety training. If you find that there are hazards on the job that you are exposed to, you can reach out to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to ask for assistance. In some situations, if you're in direct danger, you can refuse to work. No one should have to put their lives or the lives of others in danger due to dangerous work practices.

If you are hurt or lose a loved one after a workplace accident, your attorney can help you move forward with a workers' compensation claim. You have a right to seek the money you need while you focus on your family and recovery.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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