Many occupations in North Carolina require workers to perform duties at heights. This requirement is common in construction and other industries. Nevertheless, many workers still do not have the proper protective equipment or training to work safely off the ground. Unfortunately, many workplace injuries caused by falls prove fatal.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report at the end of 2018 stating that the overall number of fatal work injuries decreased slightly in 2017, to 5,147 — as compared to 5,190 in 2016. However, fatal accidents caused by falls reached the highest level in 26 years at 887 deaths. Of those workers, 747 of the fatalities occurred in construction trades.

In total, the fatal falls made up 17 percent of the work-related deaths in 2017. The president of the American Society of Safety Professionals stated that there is an unacceptable level of worker safety and health and that more energy needs to be put into preventing serious work-related injuries and fatalities. Additionally, it was mentioned that the majority of these fatal falls are preventable.

When families lose loved ones due to workplace injuries, their lives are irrevocably changed from multiple standpoints. They may feel emotional turmoil, experience physical issues resulting from grief and have to contend with financial difficulties that arise in the aftermath of a fatal accident. However, North Carolina families who have lost loved ones due to work-related falls may have reason to apply for survivor’s benefits through workers’ compensation. Gaining information on this possible option from legal professionals may prove wise for parties in this type of predicament.