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Fewer deaths due to work-related injuries seen in North Carolina

It is not unusual for a government entity to keep statistics on relevant or controversial topics. The Department of Labor for North Carolina keeps annual statistics on the number of people who were killed while doing their job. The most recent report shows that deaths due to work-related injuries decreased in 2013.

Last year, 23 people died while on a job site. In 2012, 38 people died in a workplace accident. Fifty-three died the year before that. All the people who died at work in 2013 in North Carolina were men who were classified as laborers. Most of them were in their 40s.

The men who died had families and friends who cared about them, said the Labor Commissioner for the state. She added that the decrease in fatalities is a positive trend that benefits North Carolina. She cautioned it should not be used as an excuse to stop improving workplace safety.

The numbers included in the recently released report only reflect workplace fatalities that fall within the purview of the Labor Department. They do not include deaths that affect self-employed workers. They also do not reflect deaths that occurred as a result of workplace violence.

Causes of death for the men included in the report were varied. The one constant was that all occurred while the victim was on the job. Electrocution, car accidents and machinery malfunctions are all examples of what killed working North Carolina residents last year.

Although the numbers indicate a positive trend, for the loved ones of the men who died, the report offers hollow comfort. Family members of people who died from work-related injuries may be eligible to receive workers' compensation survivor benefits. Help is available if they need assistance in understanding what is needed to perfect a claim and to ensure that all applicable benefits are received.

Source: The News & Observer, "Workplace deaths declined again in North Carolina last year," Richard Stradling, Jan. 16, 2014

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