Most North Carolina residents go to their jobs expecting to go through a normal workday and come home safe and sound. However, due to the nature of the job, or the workplace conditions, some employees find themselves facing a workplace injury, whether it is sustained suddenly or develops over time. It is an employer's duty to create a safe working environment for its employees, but preventing back injuries remains one of the greatest workplace safety challenges employers face.
When it comes to their jobs, all workers across the country hope that their workplace is safe and devoid of any risks. If there are risks present, then the workers could potentially suffer workplace injuries. Some jobs however, due to their very nature, are more dangerous than others and there are higher chances of sustaining a workplace injury during the course of work. North Carolina workers may have noticed that the inherent risks to poultry workers were highlighted earlier this year as workers were under pressure to work faster. However, due to consistent effort by the poultry industry, workplace injuries in the poultry sector have decreased significantly.
There are many steps North Carolina employers can take to avoid workplace injuries. One of the most important steps is training employees how to deal with the hazards of the specific job. This, in addition to providing a safe workplace, can help reduce accidents year round in the work environment. But there are some occupations that see a surge in hiring during specific seasons and it is important to provide these seasonal workers with the requisite training to deal with the risks inherent in their job in a short span of time.
While no one in North Carolina expects to be injured at work, it can happen to just about anyone. The following is for general purposes only and not legal advice. In general, it is important to know what steps you should take if you are hurt on the job.
If you are hurt on the job, or have contracted an occupational disease, you should be aware that you only have 30 days to report the accident in writing to your employer-this means either 30 days from the accident or, in the case of occupational diseases as discussed in the last post on the Workers' Compensation blog, 30 days from the first manifestation of an ongoing condition. Not many North Carolina residents may be aware of this requirement, which is why seeking the help of experienced counsel at our law firm may be in their best interests.
When North Carolina residents travel by plane, they may not think twice about the airline's crews helping them load their luggage in the overhead compartment, showing them the emergency procedure and pushing heavy trolleys down the aisle. However, these airline workers place their bodies under extreme pressure and sustain work-related musculoskeletal disorders, including those that affect the back, upper extremities and neck.
Summer is here and as North Carolina residents rejoice in the shining sun and warmer temperatures, they may not notice the construction workers or landscaping workers hard at work in the blistering sun; they may not even know about the risk heat poses to these employees working in labor-intensive jobs.
There are many costs of doing business in North Carolina: operating costs, advertising costs and insurance costs. However, a workplace injury caused by an employer's negligence should never be included in the cost of doing business. Unfortunately, according to some workers' advocacy groups, that is precisely what some employers consider safety penalties levied by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, created in 1971, is charged with preventing worker injuries, work-related deaths and workplace accidents. Since OSHA's inception, its efforts have reduced injuries by more than 40 percent and workplace deaths by more than 60 percent. When an injury or death is reported, OSHA usually sends inspectors to the worksite to investigate the accident. If the employer is found negligent, OSHA can impose fines based on the severity of the violation and previous violations.
North Carolina residents may not be aware that Worker's Memorial Day passed recently. On this day, workers who have died as a result of a workplace illness or injuries are remembered and honored throughout the country. Unfortunately, many workers die as a result of workplace accidents that could have been prevented, if the proper safety regulations were followed and a safe working environment created by the employer. According to some statistics, 12 workers die every year in in preventable workplace accidents.