The National Safety Council works to eliminate preventable deaths in the home and in the work place. Falls are the third leading cause of unintentional injury related deaths. In some industries, falls are the leading cause of death. However, even in seemingly safe professions, deaths from falls can occur.
The National Safety Council’s 2014 data on deaths per industry is as follows:
- Construction: 22,330 injuries, 359 deaths
- Manufacturing: 23,290 injuries, 49 deaths
- Wholesale trade: 14,360 injuries, 30 deaths
- Retail trade: 29,530 injuries, 34 deaths
- Transportation and Warehousing: 23,780 injuries, 43 deaths
- Professional and business services: 23,140 injuries, 94 deaths
- Education and health services: 51,150 injuries, 21 deaths
- Government: 69,530 injuries, 41 deaths
Many people imagine a death from a work related fall must include a great deal of distance in the fall itself. However, this is not true. Half of all 2014 fatal falls were from a distance of 20 feet or less. Even more surprisingly, 12 percent of all fatal falls were from a distance of less than six feet.
The National Safety Council offers suggestions to workers who are considering working from a height.
First, employees should be trained on the proper safety equipment for the job. They should be able to identify the appropriate equipment and know how to use it to keep themselves and others safe. For any particular task, employees must determine what safety equipment is needed for the job and then use it. However, prior to using the equipment, inspect it. Don’t use damaged or faulty equipment.
When working outside, employees should be mindful of inclement weather. They should also scout the area ahead of time, searching for overhead power lines.
When using a ladder, make certain the locking device is in use. Make certain the ladder is on solid footing before climbing the ladder. Do not lean it against an unstable surface. Use two hands to climb the ladder. Wear slip resistant shoes. Mind the cautions against standing on the top two rungs of the ladder. Finally, resist the urge to lean wide or reach over to finish a task on a ladder. Instead, get off the ladder and move it over to the next section to work on that area.
If You Fall
If you fall, seek medical attention. Some injuries are not readily apparent. Workers should be especially mindful of the signs and symptoms of a head injury, which include:
- Loss of consciousness (even if only for a few seconds)
- Dazed or disoriented
- Vomiting or nausea
- Speech difficulties
- Sleeping more or less than usual
Have You Suffered a Work Place Fall?
If you have suffered a work place fall, or if you have lost a loved on in a fall related death at work, contact the workers’ compensation lawyers at Hilton & Somer, LLC. We are experienced workers’ compensation lawyers, and we can help you get what you are entitled to. Employers who maintain dangerous work conditions should be held accountable for their choices. At Hilton & Somer, LLC, we sue employers who don’t keep their workers safe. Contact us today for a free consultation at (703) 782-8349.
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