Workers in some industries know that falls are a major risk associated with their job duties. Those in construction, for example, are likely aware that falls from a significant elevation are one of the top causes of worker deaths in their field. However, workers in any industry, from manufacturing to food service, could end up hurt in a fall.
Working at an elevation isn’t necessary for someone to end up hurt and unable to work because of a fall. Same-level falls, including slip-and-fall incidents, can cause broken bones and put people in the hospital. They are actually one of the biggest concerns for workplace safety in the United States.
What does the workplace injury data show?
Workers in industries ranging from retail to healthcare fall on the job and get hurt. People do not need to perform their jobs at a notable elevation or even have stairs to climb for a fall to force them to seek medical care and keep them from returning to their jobs promptly. Falls on the job are responsible for 16% of all workers’ compensation claims and account for up to 26% of the costs generated by such claims.
Some employers seek to minimize fall risks by requiring special footwear. Others ignore the risk and may even demand that their workers rush on the job, which could very well increase their possibility of slipping and falling. Thankfully, workers don’t need to prove fault to qualify for benefits in most cases.
If someone breaks a bone or hurts their brain, a fall on the job may qualify them for workers’ compensation benefits. Ultimately, understanding that legal and financial protections are in place for their benefit in the event of workplace injuries (and seeking legal guidance accordingly) may give workers the courage to speak up after getting hurt on the job.