A recent report from the North Carolina Department of Labor indicates that workplace injuries in North Carolina were down slightly in 2012. The rate of workplace illnesses and injuries dropped from 3.1 per 100 full-time workers in 2009 through 2011 to 2.9 in 2012. The rate was 5.7 in 1999. In 1999 the national rate was 6.3. North Carolina is one of eight states to see a decline in workplace injuries and illnesses last year and one of 15 with a rate lower than the 3.4 national average.
The article quotes Angel Bernardo, a former OSHA inspector and current safety management teacher at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania: “It’s good business to be safe, and most employers are looking to improve that. If they don’t have a good safety program, the workers’ compensation rates are higher.” North Carolina, Department of Labor spokes woman Dolores Queensberry cited closer partnerships between the Department and the business community as a big factor in the decline in workplace injuries in North Carolina.
Workplace deaths in North Carolina were also down in 2012, from 53 deaths in 2011 to 35 in 2012. The number of workplace deaths rose in 2008, 2010 and 2011, but has declined overall in North Carolina since 2005.