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Workplace death counts not accurate in North Carolina

As someone who has lost a loved one in a work-related accident, finding out that his or her death isn't being investigated or hasn't been accounted for can be a devastating blow. It's important that you get the closure you need and know that the reason the accident took place is being corrected.

When calculating how many people are killed or die on the job in North Carolina, the data would suggest that the number of workplace deaths has dropped. What's interesting is that the report of only 23 people passing away in 2014 isn't completely accurate.

In fact, it's been suggested that the Department of Labor left out around 80 fatalities that took place. Many of those people included mechanics, roofers, farmers and painters who were fatally wounded at work.

Why don't some of these deaths get included in the yearly data? If the state department doesn't investigate the accident, then the death can't be included in the year's data. That can keep the number of fatalities listed as being much lower than it actually is.

How can a case go without being investigated? Consider this: If a person is a freelancer, that person's death may not fall under the agency's jurisdiction and won't be included in the tally.

Another thing that has artificially skewed the numbers is that the Department of Labor used to report all fatalities regardless of its authority to investigate in the years before 2006. Since then, it has only been providing data on cases it can investigate, making it look like fewer deaths are occurring.

Source: The News & Observer, "Many NC workers’ deaths go uncounted," Mandy Locke, accessed March 07, 2016

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