We’d all like to think that we would never get hurt on the job. And if we do, we take it for granted that there will be coverage to pay medical bills and replace lost wages.
That’s how the system is supposed to work for the vast majority of employees in North Carolina. Sadly, when an accident happens, too many injured workers are shocked to find out that their employer lacks proper workers’ compensation insurance. They are often left scrambling for resources to cover their health care expenses and lost pay.
Source: 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index← Swipe left/right to view full chart →
Some injured workers are misled into believing that they are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because their employer has misclassified them as an “independent contractor.” Regardless of what label an employer applies – employee or independent contractor – the workers’ compensation system will look at the details of the employment relationship rather than just its name.
The sad fact is that some of the most dangerous jobs in North Carolina are in the same industries where employers are most likely to lack workers’ compensation insurance or misclassify employees as independent contractors.
Here are the 10 most dangerous lines of work based on annual fatalities:
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Small employers in some of these industries are also among the most likely to lack workers’ compensation insurance. The Raleigh News & Observer reported in early 2016 about a statewide crackdown on uninsured employers. The newspaper highlighted the stories of several workers who were injured or killed in workplace accidents, and their employers lacked workers’ compensation coverage.
Among the workers and businesses mentioned in the story were:
were investigated for potential lack of workers’ comp coverage during a single fiscal year.
were injured while working for companies that lacked proper coverage.
lacked proper coverage in 2012. That number was reduced by at least 800 due to efforts by the Industrial Commission.
in the law, it is unknown how many companies are currently uninsured.
Are you concerned that your employer might be among the large number of North Carolina companies that don’t have required workers’ compensation insurance? There’s an easy way to find out details about your employer’s coverage. Just use the simple tool below to access the Industrial Commission’s database to look up your employer.
DISCLAIMER: Coverage information shown on this database is not proof of, evidence or verification of workers' compensation insurance. The coverage information shown on this website may not reflect changes (cancellations or reinstatements) that have not yet been reported to the Industrial Commission or the North Carolina Rate Bureau or that have been reported within the last thirty (30) days. Information obtained from this website should be verified with the employer and/or the insurer. An insurer, employer, injured worker, licensed health care provider or attorney involved in a pending workers' compensation claim who is unable to locate coverage information using this database may contact the Industrial Commission directly to obtain more information.
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