Workplace Fatalities Up Despite Slowdown in Construction/Manufacturing

CHARLOTTE, N.C., November 3, 2011 — Workplace fatalities in North Carolina rose in 2010 over the previous year despite a nationwide slowdown in construction and manufacturing.

The North Carolina Department of Labor said in a report that 48 people died in 2010 compared to 34 deaths in 2009.

"One would expect that with the significant job losses in our most dangerous sectors there would be fewer workplace deaths," said Mike Brown, workers' compensation attorney at Crumley Roberts, a law firm based in Greensboro. "Seeing a 40-percent rise in the death rate means something else is happening. I would venture to suggest that with many companies struggling just to survive workplace safety is not getting much attention. Employers are asking fewer people to do more, and at the same time the employees fortunate to have jobs are feeling compelled to work harder, work faster, and get more done with less. That's a recipe for disaster in dangerous jobs."

The report indicated that 16 deaths were caused by being struck by a vehicle or object. The second leading cause of death was falls. Nine people were crushed and four electrocuted. Four other deaths were not classified.

Fifteen of the dead workers were in the construction industry, and six each were in manufacturing and service industries.

Founded in 1989, Crumley Roberts, LLP, represents individuals with personal injury, workers' compensation and Social Security disability claims. The firm operates from 14 offices in North Carolina and South Carolina. To learn more about the firm, or its community relations activities, visit

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