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8 North Carolina workers suffer construction injuries

  • 23
  • August
    2013

Construction industry jobs often offer good pay during the building season. However, this type of work can also include employees suffering from construction injuries. One such incident at a North Carolina high school has caused several workers to be injured.

The late morning accident is said to have happened when the temporary staging structure fell apart while the work crew were on it. The construction workers were continuing work on the planned addition to the school. Eight employees were said to have been injured. Of the total injured, two were hurt severely enough to have required helicopters to take them to hospitals.

North Carolina scaffolding collapses: 8 injured at high school

  • 21
  • August
    2013

Construction workers are typically aware of the increased risk of dangers that come from working in their industry. Dangers run the gamut from being injured while running dangerous equipment to scaffolding collapses when working above the ground. One recent scaffolding collapse led to eight workers suffering various injuries at a North Carolina high school. The construction workers were busy adding to an extension at McDowell High School in Marion.

The scaffolding collapse occurred in the morning on a recent Monday and caused eight workers to plummet nearly 40 feet as the scaffolding broke apart. Emergency workers rushed to the scene and had to free at least two workers who were cut off from easy escape after the collapse. One of those workers was trapped atop a wall made of cinder blocks for just under an hour. He narrowly missed the potential for serious injury considering that firefighters had just managed to free him when the area where he had been trapped fell away.

North Carolina farm workers exposed to toxic substances

  • 14
  • August
    2013

While a work injury can occur for employees in almost any occupation, those who work with heavy equipment or perform strenuous manual labor typically have more of a risk than others. Equipment can malfunction, and employees could potentially be exposed to toxic substances. If employers do not stay up-to-date on improvements and replacements, defective equipment can cause devastating injuries. If employers are found in violation of not replacing hazardous equipment or providing proper training, they could face fines as well as possible workers' compensation claims.

Two workers at a North Carolina farming company were found down in the back of a semi-truck trailer while they were working to load a blackberry order. According to reports, a person found the two workers and called emergency services. The two were transported to area hospitals where one was pronounced dead due to cardiac arrest, and the other was treated and later released.

Negligence of the employer can result in citations, fines

  • 12
  • August
    2013

As many North Carolina readers may be aware, Wal-mart is one of the top employers in the U.S. Recently, the company was fined $190,000 by the federal OSHA for workplace safety violations found at one store located outside our state. While there are no reports of injuries as a result of these violations, negligence of the employer may have dire consequences for workers. In this case, Wal-mart is making changes to improve employee safety at nearly 2,600 Wal-mart and Sam's Club stores nationwide.

OSHA officials discovered during their 2011 inspection that a trash compactor was unlocked and not well secured, and that workers had not been trained to use it. The inspection also uncovered a lack of training on using hazardous chemicals. In addition, there were obstructions in the exit routes and a grinder was left unattended. The OSHA cited Wal-mart stores in other locations for similar violations between 2008 and 2010. 

Worker's family could receive workers' compensation benefits

  • 09
  • August
    2013

Everyone is horrified by the news of the death of a coworker. They sympathize with surviving family members and provide their condolences. However, few people consider the realities of life without a family member beyond the emotional devastation. Fortunately, states such as North Carolina require employers to provide workers' compensation benefits for their employees in case they are injured or killed while they are completing their job responsibilities. The family of a deceased man will likely qualify for such benefits after a tragic accident took the life of their loved one.

A 38-year-old male employee of Boeing was working on a platform, assembling a plane, when the accident happened. Several employees noted a gap between some platforms and the plane. Later on, one employee witnessed the victim fall in the gap. 

No violations in North Carolina accident that injured worker

  • 07
  • August
    2013

When a work accident results in injury or death, state or federal investigators usually step in to determine if there were any safety violations. Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials in its North Carolina Division wrapped up an investigation recently while an injured worker recovers from a well-drilling accident that occurred in July. The investigation did not turn up any violations.

According to reports, the man was using a drilling rig when a hose burst away from it and hit him in the face. The impact threw him back against some metal pipes. He sustained some swelling and fractured facial bones, and was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. The injured worker is now undergoing rehabilitation and making steady progress with his recovery. 

Seriousness of injured worker injuries is measured by study

  • 01
  • August
    2013

For what it may be worth, a recent study reviewed data from the 2011 United States Department of Labor Statistics. This study reviews the data for North Carolina and all other states, and identifies the most dangerous industries by location. The determination is based on the rates of injuries that are serious enough to require an actual job switch or major change or restriction of responsibilities. The study thus pinpoints where a worker might have the better chance of becoming an injured worker with a more serious work injury.

Fortunately, North Carolina was not a “winner” and was not in the top 10 for most dangerous workplaces! The winner is a northern state that has 1.4 work injuries or illnesses serious enough for workers to require job transfers or job restrictions per 100 workers. That's twice the national average of 0.7. 

Workers' compensation benefits payable for work-related death

  • 30
  • July
    2013

A crush injury at work can be caused by faulty machinery or operator error. It may be important to know which one because if it's faulty machinery there may be a third-party tort claim against the machine's manufacturer for compensation over and above workers' compensation. In the reported case, which occurred in a state other than North Carolina, what's clear at this time is that workers' compensation benefits are payable to the family of a deceased worker killed in a workplace accident.

The accident occurred at a pulp and paper company on July 23 while the 48-year-old male worker was using a Bobcat skid-steer vehicle to unload a pulp dryer. He was apparently caught by a moving piece of the dryer and crushed by the equipment, according to investigators. A spokesman for the county coroner in Franklin, Ohio verified that the accident was work-related. He indicated that the man suffered devastating work-related injuries, with the cause of death being blunt force trauma.

Construction sites prone to accidents in North Carolina

  • 28
  • July
    2013

Construction workers should be especially careful while working. Construction sites are usually filled with heavy machinery and large vehicles which could cause injury. Therefore these sites have a higher chance of workers experiencing injuries in North Carolina and other states. One man recently found this out the hard way when he was killed while employed at a construction site.

The incident happened in mid-July at approximately 9 a.m. near an exit off the I-270 freeway. A dump truck which was backing up ended up colliding into a 57-year-old construction worker employed at the site. The man who was working behind a concrete barrier died as a result of his injuries. He had been an employee of the state department of transportation for 30 years.

Workplace safety: McDonald's employees aren't 'loving it'

  • 27
  • July
    2013

There is a basic set of conditions that must be met to ensure the safety and health of employees -- no matter the industry. In North Carolina, summers can get blistering hot, so many indoor work environments may need to be equipped with an air conditioner to prevent workers from falling ill due to heat-related conditions.

Employees at one McDonald's location are protesting the conditions they've been subjected to as a result of a failing air conditioner. The workers were inspired to walk off the job after one of their co-workers collapsed and was hospitalized for a workplace illness precipitated by the searing conditions. In fact, employees indicate that the air conditioning fails every summer.

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