Feds say NC, SC among lowest for injuries at work

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A new federal study estimating the rate of workplace injuries last year finds North and South Carolina among the country's safest in which to work.

North Carolina's Labor Department said Thursday the state's rate of injuries or illnesses at private companies dropped to a historic low in 2009. The rate of 3.1 cases per 100 full-time workers compares with 3.4 cases in 2008.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the injury rate in South Carolina was 3.2 cases per 100 workers last year. Injury rates in both states were near the country's lowest along with Texas, Louisiana, Virginia and New York.

Last month, a U.S. Labor Department audit blasted workplace safety programs in both Carolinas for downplaying serious safety problems and assessing weak fines on violating companies.

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