NC Officials Say Workplace Deaths Dropped In 2007

The state Labor Department says workplace deaths dropped 29 percent in North Carolina in 2007, down to 46 from 65 the year before.

The leading cause of workplace death was being crushed with those accidents claiming 18 lives.

Wake County reported the most fatalities with four, followed by Cumberland with three. Nine counties had two fatalities: Chowan, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Lee, Mecklenburg and Wilson. Twenty-one 21 that experienced one fatality.

The department attributed the decline to state training programs such as four "construction blitzes" the state conducted last year. In those, officials made unannounced visits to construction sites to inspect scaffolds, harnesses and electrical cords.

Most fatalities occur on construction sites, where 20 people died.

Non-work-related fatalities involving medical conditions such as heart attacks and strokes aren't included in these totals.