Business Briefs

State on-job injury rate drops to record low

Posted November 12, 2009 4:09 p.m. EST

— Stronger workplace safety and health programs have helped lower the non-fatal injury and illness rate for North Carolina workers, officials said Thursday.

The rate dropped from 3.7 per 100 full-time employees in 2007 to 3.4 last year, marking an all-time low. The injury and illness rate stood at 4.0 in 2006 and 2005 and was 4.1 in 2004, officials said.

“More employers understand that prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses is one sure way to increase their profitability,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said in a statement.

Fewer workplace injuries translate to fewer workers’ compensation claims and lower workers’ compensation insurance rates, Berry said. The insurance rates have dropped over the last two years, and they are set to drop to 9.6 percent in April, which she said would save employers about $120 million.

"This news is good for business and good for employees. We hope the cost savings will spur job growth,” she said.