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injured worker because of lack of trainingBy law, employers in North Carolina must provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. Many Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 standards — rules that describe what employers must do to protect their employees from hazards — include explicit safety and health training requirements. These requirements are to ensure that workers have the required knowledge of safety protocols and skills training to do their jobs safely.

OSHA standards carry the weight of law. Businesses in North Carolina may face hefty fines for repeated violations.

Despite inspections by the North Carolina Department of Labor and OSHA of workplaces and free training programs, many workers employed by North Carolina’s businesses are injured on the job each year because of inadequate training in the workplace. Employees injured in the workplace may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to pay for medical care and replace a portion of their lost wages. Unfortunately, employers who do not make the time and effort to provide their employees with the training and skills needed are more likely to dispute claims filed by injured workers for workers’ comp benefits.

Workers’ compensation should cover your medical bills for work-related injuries, a portion of your lost income, and other costs arising from a workplace injury. If your employer or their insurance company is questioning your claim or denying you workers’ comp benefits, you should speak to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. In Raleigh, N.C., the workers’ comp attorneys of Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., are committed to helping injured workers and their families recover all of the benefits available by law after a serious on-the-job injury.

Your Rights After a Work Injury Due to Inadequate Training

Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance coverage that most employers in North Carolina are required to provide for their employees. If you have been injured while on the job or while engaged in activity within the “course and scope” of your employment, you are likely eligible for workers’ comp benefits.

You have a right to workers’ compensation even if you were at fault for your injury — unless you were injured because you were engaged in horseplay or were intoxicated. Similarly, you cannot hold your employer legally responsible if their failure to provide you with adequate training or some other negligence on their part led to your injury.

If a workplace injury causes you to miss work for more than seven days, you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits that:

  • Pay all medical bills associated with your covered injury, including for rehabilitation therapy if needed.
  • Pay you about two-thirds of your weekly wages lost while you cannot work.

Suppose you cannot return to work or cannot return to the same job because of an occupational injury. In that case, you may qualify for additional compensation for a partial or total permanent disability. Workers’ comp should make up a portion of your lost wages if you have to take a lower-paying job because of your injury. If you need additional education or training to rejoin the workforce, workers’ compensation may also pay for that to give the skills needed.

You may be eligible to receive wage-replacement payments for up to 500 weeks.

After a fatal workplace injury, workers’ compensation pays a death benefit to the employee’s spouse and dependent children. A death benefit lasts at least 500 weeks. A minor child receives benefits until the age of 18.

Most injured workers do not fully understand what they deserve to receive from workers’ compensation insurance. And in most cases, neither your employer nor their insurer will go out of their way to increase payments to you. But as your attorneys, we will help you recover every dollar you deserve to have.

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North Carolina Work Injuries and Fatalities Statistics

In December 2023, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health stated that 5,486 deaths from sudden workplace trauma in 2022 represented a 5.7% increase from 2021 and showed the need for urgent action to make our workplaces safer. These statistics were from the 2022 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, a nationwide count of workers who die after workplace injuries. The report accounts for deaths from sudden, traumatic events, such as a fall from a height, a collision with machinery, and other preventable workplace incidents.

There were 217 fatal workplace injuries in North Carolina in 2022. Among industries, the transportation industry had the highest number of fatal accidents. Most of the work-related fatalities were caused by:

  • Transportation incidents (79)
  • Falls, slips, and trips (42)
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments (37)
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals (28)
  • Contact with objects and equipment (27)

The National Safety Council says there were 4,695 preventable injury-related workplace deaths in 2022, an increase of 5% from 2021.

According to the NSC, the industry sector experiencing the largest number of preventable fatal work injuries in 2022 was construction (1,108), followed by:

  • Transportation and warehousing (964)
  • Professional and business services (525)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (400)
  • Manufacturing (363)
  • Government (352)
  • Leisure and hospitality (190)
  • Retail trade (174)
  • Wholesale trade (157)
  • Other services, such as public administration (151)
  • Educational and health services (130)
  • Mining (113)
  • Financial activities (71)
  • Information (40)
  • Utilities (36)
  • Industry not reported (11)

Why Engage Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks Workers’ Comp Lawyers?

The legal team at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., includes experienced workers’ compensation lawyers. Both Chip Younce and David E. Vtipil are board-certified specialists in workers’ compensation law. David has also been named among the nation’s Top 100 Injured Workers’ Attorneys and has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of workers’ compensation law.

The North Carolina workers’ compensation system is regulated by the Workers’ Compensation Act and administered by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. It is a complex system that requires employers to support eligible injured workers as they recover. An experienced lawyer can make sure you get the full benefits that North Carolina law provides. We can stand with you and help you seek the full benefits you are due.

At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., we can pursue workers’ compensation benefits for you and will not charge you a fee unless and until we have recovered money for you. We provide each client with hands-on care and personal attention, and we use a state-of-the-art case tracking system to ensure that no client’s needs are overlooked. Our staff also includes fluent Spanish and English speakers.

We serve injured workers in North Carolina’s workforce. Contact us today to get started with a free review of your workers’ compensation claim and an analysis of your legal options. Reach out online or at (919) 661-9000 now. If you can’t come to us, we can meet virtually or come to you.

Can Proper Training Reduce the Likelihood of Workplace Injuries and Fatalities?

OSHA advises employers that workplace incidents do not have to occur; they can be prevented by addressing the shortcomings in the programs that manage health and safety in the workplace. The agency uses the term “incident” and not “accident” because “accident” suggests an event that was random and could not have been prevented. OSHA considers nearly all worksite fatalities, injuries, and illnesses to be preventable.

OSHA publishes a variety of training materials, provides training through authorized education centers, and distributes training grants to nonprofit organizations.

In North Carolina, the Department of Labor’s occupational health and safety consultation services aim to help employers identify safety and health hazards, evaluate their safety and health programs, and provide recommendations to reduce or eliminate hazards. The goal is to help businesses meet safety and health regulations and develop effective safety and health management programs.

The state’s safety consultation services are available for free to the public sector and to employers in the private sector who have 500 or fewer employees nationwide (about 99% of all U.S. firms).

Education and training are important tools for informing workers and managers about workplace hazards and controls so they can work more safely and be more productive. Education and training provide workers with:

  • Knowledge and skills to do their work safely and avoid creating hazards that could place themselves or others at risk.
  • Awareness and understanding of workplace hazards and how to identify, report, and control them.
  • Specialized training when their work involves unique hazards.
Younce Vtipil Baznik & Banks personal injury law team

Seek Help from Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Raleigh

Employers have the responsibility to train their workforce to do their jobs safely, but the amount and quality of training you’ll get varies from job to job. Regardless, when the consequences of inadequate training are employee injuries or fatalities, employers should not stand in the way of workers’ compensation payments to eligible employees or their survivors.

The Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys of Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., can advise you and stand up for your rights if you or a loved one has been injured on the job after receiving inadequate training. It will cost you nothing to discuss your workers’ comp claim with an experienced Raleigh workers’ compensation attorney.

Call us now at (919) 661-9000 or contact us online for a free claim review and advice about your legal options after suffering a work-related injury. We understand your challenges and will provide you with dedicated legal services and the personal care and attention you deserve.

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