Workers in New Jersey and the rest of the nation probably know that falls present a significant risk for some jobs. They may think that ironworkers and roofers are at risk, and anyone who works on a ladder or scaffold. Nevertheless, they may underestimate the risk for other workers in many other workplace settings.
A story from Orangeburg, NY, may serve as a good reminder that roofers are not the only people at risk from falls and in need of workers’ compensation for the resulting injuries. A warehouse worker fell 20 feet onto a concrete floor. He worked in the warehouse driving a forklift, but apparently climbed on the racking and lost his footing on the pallet racks and fell.
Predictably, in occupations like residential constructions, falls are the single greatest source of fatal workplace injuries, and in 2010 caused 255 fatal accidents and over 10,000 injured workers.
For roofers and the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require that fall protection be employed in applications where workers are higher than six feet off the ground. While this worker was probably well intentioned, perhaps moving something on the rack to make room for a pallet, his accident highlights the risk posed by climbing on racks or other high places without proper equipment.
And falls can produce serious injuries for workers, even walking on a smooth surface that has any liquid or other slippery material on it; if you fall and strike the back of your head on a hard surface, you may find yourself speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney about your long-term care and therapy to learn how to operate a motorized wheelchair.
Source: Lohud.com, “Cops: Worker suffers head injury after falling 20 feet at Orangeburg warehouse,” Steve Lieberman, Feb. 12, 2013