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State had 56 fatal work accidents in 2008

The N.C. Department of Labor reported 56 fatal work accidents in 2008. A spike in the final two months of last year bumped numbers up from 2007ó a year that posted an unprecedented low number of workplace fatalities, 45.
“In these tough economic times, we must not allow safety to take a back seat,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. “To see an increase in the last two months of the year during hard economic times sends a red flag and it is something we will monitor.”
Construction and manufacturing, two of the state’s most hazardous industries, posted a decrease. Construction dropped from 20 in 2007 to 17 in 2008, and manufacturing dropped from 11 to eight.
Fatalities in the service industry increased from three fatalities in 2007 to eight in 2008, and agriculture, forestry and fishing increased from two in 2007 to seven in 2008.
Rowan and Cabarrus counties were among the 11 that had two fatalities for the year. Mecklenburg County had the most at six. Sixty-four counties had no work-related fatalities.

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