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North Carolina trucking company fined after employee’s death

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Last week we discussed the efforts some North Carolina groups were making to improve safety on our state’s farms. One major area of concern on farms is the fact that farmers and farm workers have to operate and work around large machines. One other industry that requires employees to work with large equipment is the trucking industry.

The trucking industry is extremely important to our country. Our transport of goods relies on it. What this means is that many people are responsible for both operating these massive vehicles and for keeping them in good working condition. Working with these vehicles, however, can be quite dangerous, which is why it is so important that trucking companies in North Carolina make every effort to ensure their drivers are following federal regulations and that their mechanics are properly trained and working in safe conditions.

This spring, a 22-year-old man was killed on the job when he was performing repairs on a tractor-trailer. He was working under the front of the truck when it fell on top of him and crushed him. Sadly, he died in the work accident.

In response to the tragedy, the North Carolina Department of Labor investigated JRJ Trucking. The Thomasville trucking company was cited for three violations — two of them serious — of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina. According to the Department of Labor, the company had no hazardous material policy in place, did not offer a hazard assessment for workers who wore protective equipment, and did not have proper procedures in place to ensure employees were safe while working on the trucks. They will have to pay a $2,700 fine.

Because $2,700 may not seem like much to those who have lost a loved one to a workplace accident, it is important to note that family members of a victim can file a death claim to seek compensation.

Source: The Dispatch, “Trucking company fined after workplace fatality,” Darrick Ignasiak, Sept. 17, 2013