Workers in North Carolina and elsewhere may be putting their lives at stake each time that they report for duty. According to a report by the AFL-CIO, 5,190 workers were killed on the job in 2016, which is an increase from the death toll in 2015. As many as 60,000 more died because of exposure to chemicals or other occupational diseases. A worker's risk of dying may depend on his or her age, nationality and occupation.
Underride accidents on North Carolina highways can lead to serious injuries or death. Some believe that federal regulations could help reduce the likelihood of these crashes taking place. Legislation called the Stop Underrides Act of 2017 would require underride guards on the front and sides of many trucks. It would also increase standards for those that are on the back of trucks. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle ends up under a larger truck.
American employees are mostly unaware that, in many states, workers' compensation covers them for mental distress known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Military veterans exposed to shocking experiences during active duty service can develop PTSD; however, civilians can also develop PTSD if they are involved in or witness a traumatic event.
Employers in North Carolina are generally required to report workplace fatalities and significant injuries to OSHA. However, according to the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (OIG), there needs to be more done to ensure that underreporting does not occur. The report found that some employers are not fixing errors and that some companies are repeat offenders. According to the OIG, a representative of OSHA said that up to 50 percent of incidents are not reported.
North Carolina businesses should be aware that OSHA is reminding employers to take extra steps this holiday season to protect worker safety and pay. OSHA is especially concerned about large crowds during sales events and unpredictable scheduling.