Struck-By Incidents and Falls Lead Work-Related Deaths in NC

The largest number of work-related deaths in North Carolina in 2018 were caused by struck-by incidents and falls, based on preliminary information released Jan. 25 by the North Carolina Department of Labor.

The largest number of work-related deaths in North Carolina in 2018 were caused by struck-by incidents and falls, based on preliminary information released Jan. 25 by the North Carolina Department of Labor.

Struck-by incidents accounted for 14 work-related deaths and falls accounted for nine. In 2018, there were 39 work-related fatalities that fell under the jurisdiction of the NCDOL's Occupational Safety and Health Division, one fewer than in 2017.

The North Carolina Occupational Fatality Inspection Review figures do not include certain fatalities that fall outside its jurisdictional authority, as well as fatalities investigated by federal OSHA, sole proprietorships, and other exemptions in which NCDOL does not have the authority to investigate, such as farms with 10 or fewer employees.

"Each of these individuals are valued members of North Carolina's workforce, and each death is a major blow to their families and communities," Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. "It is important that we track these fatalities and create awareness of these common work-related hazards so that we can better focus our resources and work to prevent future incidents."

The construction industry continues to be North Carolina's most hazardous industry, with 16 work-related deaths in 2018, one fewer than in 2017. The NCDOL emphasizes hazardous industries like constructions in order to maximize its resources and identify problem areas.

"It is encouraging to see a decrease in falls from 13 in 2017 to nine in 2018, and we hope this downward trend will continue," said Kevin Beauregard, director of the NCDOL OSH Division. "I encourage all construction companies to participate in the stand-down and focus on fall prevention efforts on construction sites to help reduce these preventable deaths."

"In addition, the OSH Division will increase construction-related activity in some counties in the spring, especially those identified as having high activity or multiple fatalities," Beauregard said.

The manufacturing industry had the second-highest number of work-related deaths, with eight, down from 11 in 2017. Transportation and public industry deaths increased from one in 2017 to four in 2018, and the services industry increased from zero in 2017 to four in 2018.

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