Blue Ridge Parkway Accident Raises Concerns Over N. C. Workplace Safety

Posted by Christopher Shumate | Dec 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

As indicated in previous blogs, workplace safety has declined in North Carolina over the past decade, leading to an increase in workers' compensation injuries and fatalities. Despite the decline in workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has failed to increase inspections or citations for employers who fail to comply with OSHA procedures.

As a Charlotte workers' compensation attorney, I have significant concerns regarding the causal link between inadequate OSHA monitoring and serious work injuries. I also wonder about a potential link with the recent trend of uninsured employers in North Carolina, and the Industrial Commission's failure to adequately address that problem.

An OSHA inspection may have prevented a workplace fatality that occurred on May 7, 2012 near Asheville, NC that killed Blue Ridge Parkway employee Dana Bruce. According to Blue Ridge Parkway Chief Ranger Steve Stinnett, Dana Bruce was using a riding mower when the mower began to slide down the mountain, plunging more than 100 feet and killing the employee. As an employee of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Bruce was a part of the National Park Service, a federal agency that must comply with OSHA standards. Since the May 7th accident, OSHA officials have visited the scene of the accident and initiated an investigation to determine if safety and health standards were violated. OSHA officials have six months from May 7th to complete their investigation.

About the Author

Christopher Shumate

Mr. Chris Shumate is a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, and worked various jobs while pursuing his undergraduate and Juris Doctor education, including several heavy manual labor and skilled trade positions. In his practice, Mr. Shumate often encounters circumstances where these prior experiences are helpful in representing you. Upon graduating law school from the University of South Carolina, Mr. Shumate joined one of the Carolinas' larger defense firms, where he represented a diverse set of employers and insurance companies in civil cases and workers' compensation claims across the Carolinas. Chris utilized this experience to obtain a working knowledge of the insurance industry, and build personal contacts used today in representing you. Mr. Shumate ultimately decided he wanted to focus his law practice on assisting those who have been injured, and doing so with the focus on a personal relationship that is uncommon in the bigger firms. Mr. Shumate's also has a passion for assisting those facing the challenges of the criminal legal system. By representing individuals in a variety of criminal and traffic matters, Mr. Shumate works to achieve the best possible result for each client regardless of the charges levied by the prosecution. Chris has tirelessly pursued his mission of helping people from all walks of life throughout the Carolinas with a variety of legal matters. If you are interested in learning more about Chris Shumate and The Shumate Law Offices, please contact us at 704.371.5059. We look forward to assisting you to achieve a positive result in your legal concern. Education J.D., University of South Carolina B.S., University of South Carolina Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice N.C. State BarS.C. State BarU.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina Professional & Bar Association Memberships N.C. Bar Association S.C. Bar Association Mecklenburg County Bar N.C. Academy Of Trial Lawyers American Association For Justice


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