Workplace injuries can range from a back injury due to incorrect posture, repetitive stress injuries due to repetitive motion on the job or slip and fall accidents on construction sites. However, there are some simple steps North Carolinians can take at the office to avoid sustaining a workplace injury.
In a blast that was equivalent to a 2.1 magnitude earthquake felt 45 miles away from the fertilizer plant, officials believe at least 15 people lost their lives and more than 160 sustained injuries. The explosion sent off a ball of fire and completely burnt down nearby homes devastating a four-block area this week. Along with the rest of the country, North Carolina residents may be praying for the safety of officials going through the mounds of debris left behind, trying to locate survivors as a storm moved into the affected area.
A lot of attention has been given to workplace accidents in grain mills recently, with tragic accidents highlighting the risky nature of the job. There have been moves to make the industry safer and reduce workplace injuries, both by providing safety measures and by educating employers and employees.
Workplace safety experts at a fracking site first noticed all the dust surrounding the every aspect of the site. Many North Carolina employers and employees alike may be aware that exposure to silica dust could cause some of the most dangerous workplace illnesses, such as lung disease and even cancer. These dangers have traditionally been linked to mining, construction and manufacturing jobs, but recent research shows that workers in other fields, such as fracking, may be becoming exposed to this toxic material.
NC Senate Bill 614, filed April 4, 2013, would affect the ability of truck drivers injured at work to obtain workers' compensation benefits. The Bill would make it much harder for drivers to prove that they are "employees" rather than "independent contractors." Employees are covered by workers' compensation but independent contractors generally are not covered. This bill appears to be an effort to reduce trucking company costs by minimizing their responsibilities to their drivers. The Bill tries to shift the responsibility to an "occupational accident insurance policy" that the driver may have to pay for himself. This Bill is sponsored by two Republican Senators, Harry Brown of Jacksonville and Brent Jackson of Autryville. Here is a link to the Bill: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/HTML/S614v1.html
As North Carolina residents may know, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may launch an investigation into a workplace accident and fine an employer for creating an unsafe working environment for its employees. When workers suffer injuries on the job, they may become eligible to receive workers compensation from their employer.