It may come as a surprise that the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falling. In 2020, 42,114 people died in falls at home and work, according to Injury Facts®.
If you have suffered a fall through somebody else’s negligence, find yourself a personal injury lawyer that offers free consultations and works on a contingency fee. Bagen Law Accident Injury Lawyers, based in Gainesville, Florida, are one such law firm. If your accident happened in that area, check them out.
Hazards in the Workplace
In 2020, 805 workers died in falls, and 211,640 were badly injured, requiring at least one day off of work.
The fall doesn’t have to be from a great height to result in an injury. 136 workers fell and landed on the same level that they had been standing on.
Construction workers suffer seven times more injuries from falls than any other industry.
Falls can happen anywhere, even at a desk job.
Falls are 100% Preventable
Plan ahead when you are working from a ladder, roof, or scaffolding. Take care to understand all the possible risks and make sure to use the correct equipment.
Before starting, ask yourself, is it necessary to do the work from a height, or is there another way of completing the task safely.
- Discuss what safety equipment will be needed with your coworkers
- Verify everyone is properly trained on how to use the equipment
- Check the work area for potential hazards before starting
- Before setting up the equipment, ensure the ground is level
- for outside work, check the weather forecast; never work in bad weather
- Use the correct tool for the job, and use it correctly
- Confirm that stepladders have a locking device to hold the front and back open
- Always keep two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder
- Never lean a ladder against an unstable surface
- A straight or extension ladder should be 1 foot away from the surface it rests on for every 4 feet of height and extends at least 3 feet over the top edge
- Securely fasten straight and extension ladders to an upper support
- Make sure your footwear is slip-resistant, and don’t stand higher than the third rung from the top
- While on a ladder, never reach or over-stretch, and have someone support the bottom
- Never use old or damaged equipment.
Fall Hazards at Home
Are you a DIY disaster waiting to happen? If you take on home improvement or other weekend projects, it’s important to prepare yourself for physical exertion. If you’ve been sedentary through the winter months, take additional precautions to prevent falls.
Some riskier jobs are best left to the professionals. Risky projects, like installing siding, gutters, or roofs, are best left to professionals. Saving money isn’t worth risking a debilitating or fatal fall.
At home or work, many of the same rules apply. When taking on a project:
- Practice all of the ladder safety tips mentioned above
- Keep the work area clear of hazards and immediately clean up spills
- Read all instructions and safety precautions on your equipment
- Don’t wear loose clothing that can get caught in equipment
66% of injury cases for people 65 years or older were a result of a fall and over 75% of slip-fall deaths occur to people 65 years of age or older.
We tend to think we’re always safe on flat ground, but that is where thousands of injuries each year occur.
Falls are the No.1 cause of death for older adults, you can fall-proof your home by taking the following precautions:
- Keep floors and surfaces clear of clutter
- Keep file cabinets and desk drawers closed
- Keep electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
- Install handrails on stairways
- Wear sensible footwear
- Never stand on chairs, tables, or any surface with wheels
- Properly arrange furniture to create open pathways
- Maintain good lighting indoors and out
More than 6.8 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2019. A fall can end in death or disability in less than a second, but with a few simple precautions, can ensure your safety at work and home.