North Carolina Injury and Illness Rate Hits Historic Low

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North Carolina’s workplace injury and illness rate for private industry achieved a historic low for 2012, making the Tar Heel state one of the safest states in which to work, reports the NC Department of Labor. The rate decreased to 2.9 cases per 100 full-time workers. The rate had been at 3.1 for the previous three years.

“During my term as Labor Commissioner, I am proud of the fact that North Carolina’s injury and illness rate has dropped from 5.3 to 2.9 over the past dozen years, but there’s still more work to be done because 0.0 is the only acceptable rate,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said.

“The record low injury and illness rate is a credit to the employers and employees of our state and to the hard working men and women of our Department of Labor. Safety is being embraced by management as well as those on the front lines who are performing the state’s most dangerous work.”

The state’s Occupational Safety and Health Division focuses on hazardous industries like construction and manufacturing by implementing special emphasis programs, providing free education and training, conducting free safety and health consultative visits, and establishing partnerships and alliances.

The 2012 rate for construction remained at 2.8 per 100 full-time workers, well below the national average of 3.7. The manufacturing rate decreased to 3.4 in 2012 from 3.7 in 2011 and remains below the national rate of 4.3.

North Carolina was one of eight states to see a decline in injury and illness rates from the previous year. North Carolina was one of 15 states with a rate statistically lower than the national average of 3.4.

Labor officials point to other driving factors that are affecting the state’s record low rates. Accidents are costly when you factor in legal fees, insurance costs, plant down time and liability suits. Many employers are implementing effective safety and health programs to lower costs and improve their bottom line.

“Good employers understand that a good workplace safety program pays for itself,” Commissioner Berry said, “but at the end of the work day, it’s really about making it home to family and loved ones that matters most.”  Read More.