Accidents can happen in any kind of workplace, but some kinds of workplaces are more hazardous than others. A worker can suffer a broken arm after tripping and falling at an office building, but tripping and falling at a construction site can easily lead to much worse injuries. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the deadliest industries in North Carolina are private construction, transportation and warehousing.
In its report on fatal occupational injuries in North Carolina, the BLS found 183 fatal work injuries in 2017, the most recent year for which final statistics were reported. This number represented an increase over 2016, when 174 workers were killed on the job. In fact, the 2017 number was the highest in more than 10 years.
The occupation with the highest number of fatal workplace accidents was transportation and material moving. The BLS found 48 workers in this occupation were killed in 2017, most of them drivers of semitrailers and other heavy trucks.
Men made up 95% of the workers killed in workplace accidents in 2017. Nationwide, the percentage is 93%. Most of those killed were employees who worked for wages or salaries, rather than as independent contractors.
The North Carolina workers’ compensation system provides benefits to family members after their loved one has been killed in a workplace accident. A fatal accident can leave a family in dire financial straits, and the benefits can help them cope with their sudden and unexpected loss of income.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance companies often don’t give injured workers or their surviving family members the full amount of benefits they deserve. Sometimes they are slow to act, and sometimes they try to get people to settle for less than they need. An attorney with experience in workers’ compensation law can help injured workers or their families through the process and fight for their rights.