Falls are one of the most common, as well as one of the most dangerous, types of workplace injury. While construction workers are at the most risk of a fatal fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, virtually everyone can be subject to a bad fall injury. All it takes to put a worker in a hospital bed is a slippery floor; a broken handrail on a flight of stairs; machinery, equipment, or merchandise that is improperly stored; or even a dangerously laid power cord. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2014, a total of 793 workers lost their lives due to falls, while hundreds of thousands more were severely injured from falls to the same or to a lower level, showing that high rise construction workers are not the only employees at risk of falling and becoming injured or killed. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious fall at the workplace, you may be entitled to damages in order to help pay for the medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages associated with the injury. Workers’ compensation can be difficult to secure, and an experienced attorney is crucial to your success in receiving the full level of compensation that you deserve.
Construction, Health Care, Wholesale, and Retail Workers Are at Risk
While construction workers have the highest rates of fatal falls, the most at-risk workers for non-fatal fall injuries are those in the healthcare industry, the retail industry, and wholesale workers. Specific jobs that put people at risk of falls include transportation and material moving, construction, extraction, healthcare support, and building cleaning crews.
Causes of Falls
You don’t have to be balancing on a beam to fall and become injured, nor is it necessary to be an older, more fragile citizen. While older people are more at risk than younger people, falls happen to everyone, everywhere. Common causes of falls include slippery floors, cluttered walkways, unprotected edges that can catch a foot, holes in the floor or wall openings, unstable walking areas, poorly positioned ladders, and fall protection equipment that is not used correctly. Your employer is responsible for creating a safe work environment for everyone who enters. They have a duty to act with care, as we all do in every scenario of life, and failing to provide a safe workplace is a failure of this duty. If your fall was the result of an unsafe premises, your employer may be found negligent, and therefore liable to pay for your damages.
High Price of Fall Injuries and Fatalities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conclude that, in 2002, occupational fall accidents (falls that happened while at work) cost the U.S. $70 billion. The relative cost to the individual fall victims is even higher, as chronic pains and debilitations often result from serious falls. This negatively affects that person’s ability to earn a wage and support themselves and their families like they were once able to. If you were injured from a fall at work, contact an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina, workers’ compensation attorney today for legal advice.