Falls in occupational settings are a significant hazard. Falls may occur simply by an employee walking and stumbling, or a fall may take place when the worker is trying to accomplish a task like changing a light fixture using a ladder. Still other falls may wind up in fatalities, such as when an ironworker falls 80 feet to the ground from a scaffolding platform.
Data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in one calendar year, 605 workers died and approximately 212,760 others suffered serious injuries in falls. Fatal falls happened with the greatest frequency to those working in the construction industry. But there were a higher number of non-fatal falls affecting those who are employed in the fields of health care and retail and wholesale industries. Other jobs that have a high fall risk include:
-- Material moving and transportation
-- Building maintenance and cleaning
-- Extraction occupations
Red flags for fall injuries and deaths include open floor and wall holes, unstable surfaces, slippery areas, cluttered walkways, unprotected edges, fall protections that are misused and improperly positioned ladders. Some job site supervisors or company owners give short shrift to life-saving safety protocols, placing all employees potentially in harm's way.
It's important for industry leaders to work together to keep the workplace safe for all employees. Regularly reviewing safety protocols and making sure workers have access to safety equipment that functions properly can reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities.
If you are injured in fall while on the job, you have a right to file a workers' compensation claim for your injuries.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Fall Injuries Prevention in the Workplace," accessed June 10, 2016