Friends of workers who died on the job honored their memory in Raleigh. An observance of what they're calling Workers' Memorial Day included people reciting the names of employees killed on the job in North Carolina.
The non-profit National Council on Occupational Safety and Health says a majority of the workers died of hazards related to their jobs: falls, fires and transportation mishaps. Executive Director Tom O'Connor says too often employers cut corners, and the state Labor Department didn't call them on it.
"Sometimes those employers are able to get away with that," O'Connor says. "And we believe if there were more severe penalties for those bad actors, that would act as a more effective deterrent."
A spokeswoman for state Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry says North Carolina has made great strides in eliminating workplace deaths. She says the state now averages 3.1 deaths per 100 workers -- an all-time low -- but zero deaths is the goal.