Deaths in Workplace in North Carolina Drop in 2006

Non-health related deaths dip to 62 from 68 in 2005. Another 17 die from heart attacks or other medical conditions.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The number of workers killed in workplace incidents in the state dropped to 62 in 2006, a decrease of six from the previous year, according to state figures.

Of the work-related fatalities, another 17 were attributed to medical conditions, such as heart attacks, according to the N.C. Department of Labor.

The drop reflects efforts by the state and employers to improve work conditions over the past several years, according to Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry.

“I’m not saying that 62 is acceptable, anymore than you can say one fatality is acceptable,” Berry said in a statement. “But we can say North Carolina has become among the safest in the country although our population keeps growing by leaps and bounds. We also have a lot of high-hazard industries such as construction, logging, manufacturing and fishing.”

From 2000 through 2005, the state’s work injury and illness rate fell to 4.0 cases for every 100 full-time workers from 5.7 in every 100, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics cited by the N.C. Department of Labor. North Carolina, the nation’s 10th largest state, ranks among the 10 safest states for workers.

The Department of Labor investigates all work-related deaths.

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