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NC Dept. of Labor: Most Work-Related Deaths Caused by Objects Striking Victims

May 03, 2019

NORTH CAROLINA – According to the website for the North Carolina Department of Labor,, most fatal work-related accidents in the state are caused by objects striking the victims. This conclusion is based on statewide data from 2017 regarding workplace accidents and fatalities.* 

In 2017, a total of 40 workplace fatalities occurred in the state of North Carolina and fell under the purview of the State Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division. This number was down by 10 from the prior year (2016). The Department of Labor found that of these 40 deadly accidents, 14 were caused by “struck-by incidents,” and 13 were caused by falls.

A struck-by incident is characterized by an object hitting or falling onto a worker. These types of accidents were the leading cause of workplace deaths in 2017. The state labor commissioner said it was important to remember the accidents represent real human loss, not just numbers. 

“These are not just statistics on a page,” said Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry. “We never lose sight of the fact that these are human lives lost at work, and we will continue to do everything that we possibly can to prevent such work-related deaths in the future, but we cannot do it alone.”

Berry went on to encourage employers to spend time focusing on ways to prevent falls, especially on construction sites in the state. Construction workers continued to make up a disproportionate share of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2017. A total of 16 construction workers died on the job in 2017. The Department of Labor said it was placing a particular emphasis on the construction industry to identify problems and maximize prevention efforts.  

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Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.