Local News

N.C. workplace injuries at record low

Posted November 20, 2008 10:50 a.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2008 10:44 p.m. EST

— Workers in North Carolina have never been safer, according to the annual nonfatal injury and illness figures released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state Department of Labor.

Injuries and illnesses in North Carolina dropped from a rate of 4.0 injured workers for every 100 full-time employees in 2006 to 3.6 last year for private-sector employers.

“This is good news for employers and employees,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said in a statement. “We were anticipating good numbers after learning that North Carolina’s workers’ comp insurance rates were going to decrease, but this is even better news than we expected.”

The rate has been steady at 4.0 injuries per 100 workers in 2005 and 2006. North Carolina was one of 12 states that improved their injury and illness rates last year, officials said.

Construction and manufacturing, two of the states most hazardous industries, also improved their injury rates last year, officials said. Construction’s injury and illness rate dropped from 4.9 to 4.0, while the rate for manufacturing companies dropped from 5.1 to 4.4.

Berry credited the drop, in part, to safety-conscious employers and employees.

“We are witnessing a greater emphasis on workplace safety programs,” she said. “The state is reaping the rewards from their hard work.”