The single greatest source of workplace-related injuries across the United States is from falling accidents. While most commonly seen in construction accidents, fall injuries can happen anywhere someone is working from an elevated height. Here are five things you should know about fall injuries in the workplace, preferably before you suffer an injury yourself:
- One in five falls results in a serious injury
- According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about one in every five falls results in some kind of severe injury. This may include broken bones, head injuries, or other issues that require extended medical care. Even when falls do not result in severe harm, though, fall injuries can result in long-term psychological issues, with many victims suffering from phobias related to falling long after their physical injuries have healed.
- Problems from fall injuries are not always immediately apparent
- Just because someone can get up and walk away from a fall does not mean they are automatically fine. Some people do not feel the effects of a fall injury until hours, days, or even weeks afterwards, only discovering they were hurt after they seek medical attention. Head injuries, in particular, are known to be subtle, with traumatic brain injuries (also known as TBIs) sometimes going undetected for months or years after the fact.
- Falls are more likely, and more dangerous, for older workers
- By far the most likely people to suffer a fall injury are older individuals, and they are also the most likely to suffer a severe injury when they fall. This is partly due to the increased likelihood of medical issues that can increase the risk of fall injuries, as well as problems that may make those injuries worse when they happen. As a result, older workers should be extra careful about the risks of falling on the job.
- When workplaces are not clean, falls become more likely
- Part of what makes fall injuries so dangerous is that their causes are often extremely mundane. Wet floors, loose carpets, debris or tools left on the floor, and other common hazards are all potential causes for falls. Most of the time, these hazards can be repaired relatively easily, but an employer who is not diligent about maintaining safety standards may find their employees getting hurt from a dirty and dangerous work environment.
- Employers are supposed to have fall protection for their workers
- While not every fall injury is preventable, many are, and workplace-related injuries in particular often have preventable causes. Employers are supposed to have protections against falls put into place to prevent these sorts of injuries, such as safety nets in areas where falls are more likely, or personal arrest systems for employees who work on elevated platforms. When employers do not provide appropriate protection, these injuries become more likely.
If you have been involved in an accident in your workplace, it is important to speak with an attorney to be informed of your legal rights. The personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates can bring more than two decades of experience to your case. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts. To schedule a consultation, you can call us toll-free at (886) 800-0092, or you can visit our contact page.