Falls Top Causes of Workplace FatalitiesJune 8, 2018
There are a wide range of injuries that can occur in the workplace, from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. When it comes to fatal injuries in the workplace, falls rank second on the list.
While injuries can happen anywhere, whether you work in the construction industry or in an office setting, fatal falls are more likely to occur in the construction industry, where workers are at greater risk of falling from places like ladders, scaffolding, and rooftops.
As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed a Fall Prevention Campaign that addresses these risks and offers preventative measures that employers can take to ensure a safe work environment.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), falls were responsible for 14 percent of all workplace fatalities from 2003 to 2014, making them the second leading cause of fatal workplace accidents.
Of the 8,880 workers who died in fall-related accidents, researchers found the following results:
- Falls to a lower level: 84.7 percent
- Falls from the same level: 12.7 percent
- All other types of falls: 2.6 percent
Researchers also found that men, Hispanic workers, and older employees had higher fall rates. In addition, 45 percent of fatal falls from a higher level occurred in small organizations with ten or fewer employees.
Highlights of the Fall Prevention Campaign
OSHA collaborated with NIOSH and the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) – Construction Sector to create the Fall Prevention Campaign, which highlights some of the most common fall hazards.
The campaign offers life-saving tips on how to prevent these fatal accidents, including the following:
- Plan ahead: Employers are responsible for making sure that a job is done safely. This means identifying the specific tasks that will be involved, and making sure that the appropriate tools and safety equipment are provided. These important items should be factored in when estimating the cost of a job.
- Provide the right equipment for the job. Employees who work at elevated heights of six feet or more are at an increased risk for fatal injuries if they fall. Employers must provide the appropriate safety gear, including ladders, secure scaffolding, harnesses, personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), and other protective gear.
- Provide job training. In addition to training employees on how to use the equipment necessary for their job, employers must also provide training on how to recognize potentially life-threatening hazards. OSHA offers a wide range of educational materials including posters, fact sheets, and other materials that can be made available to all employees.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers Injured in Fall-Related Accidents
If you or a loved one have fallen at work resulting in an injury, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will guide you through every step of the claims process and seek the maximum financial benefits you deserve. Our dedicated and experienced team will address all of your questions and concerns, protecting your rights every step of the way. To set up a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.