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Report: N.C. among safest states for workers

North Carolina is one of the safest states in which to work, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s private industry injury and illness rate dropped last year to a record low of 3.1 cases for every 100 full-time workers from 3.4 in 2008. In 2007, the rate stood at 3.7. It was 4 in 2005 and 2006.

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry credited the drop to small and large business enforcing safety initiatives.

“You have to have the support of management to reach those on the front lines, especially in some of the most dangerous industries like construction and manufacturing,” Berry said in the report.

Insurance was another factor, according to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Labor. In recent years, many businesses have benefited from fewer injuries with lower insurance premiums and reduced workers’ compensation rates, the press release said.

Figures were also released for the state’s construction and manufacturing industries. The injury rate in construction dropped last year to 3.1 from 3.7 in 2008. In manufacturing, it fell to 3.5 in 2009 from 4.2 in 2008.

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