Across New Jersey, workers face the risk of being injured in slips, trips, and falls in the workplace. Falls are a deadly problem in many types of work environments. Workers who are injured in falls while on the job have the legal right to be compensated for their injuries.
Through workers’ compensation, personal injury lawsuits, and other legal actions, workers can hold employers accountable for providing unsafe workplaces for their employees.
The Facts About Deadly Falls
Safety and Health Magazine reports that falls are the second most common cause of fatal workplace injuries in the United States. This figure is reported in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries - an annual report prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 10,000 American workers were killed in falls between 2003 and 2014. The highest rates of fatal workplace falls were found among construction and extraction industries, and suffered by those employed in installation, maintenance, and repair.
The majority of fatal workplace falls (nearly 85 percent) occurred in falls to a lower level. Less than 13 percent of fatal falls occurred from falls on the same level. Thus jobs which require the employee to work at height (such as construction) can pose an increased fall risk to the worker.
Workers in these industries should be especially vigilant about adhering to safety training and protocols. Be sure to wear safety equipment and follow all necessary safety procedures at all times on the job site.
A Particular Problem For Older Workers
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries also showed that older workers were more likely to be killed in a fall. This is consistent with other research, which has found that older persons are, in general, more likely to fall. The National Institute on Aging (a division of the National Institute of Health) reports that more than one out of every three persons over the age of 65 fall every year.
In part, these falls are due to the natural consequences of aging. Vision and hearing diminish, and reflexes become slower over time. This can make it difficult for elderly fall victims to identify hazards and respond to them in time to prevent a fall.
This does not, of course, mean that older workers will inevitably suffer a fall in the workplace. Employers can take measures to help prevent their elderly workers from falling. Proper safety training, signage and placards, and appropriate safety equipment can all reduce the risk of falls in the workplace. Older workers should be particularly vigilant about using safety equipment and adhering to safety protocols while on the job.
Workers who sustain fall injuries while on the job have legal rights. A Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyer can help injured workers protect their legal right to compensation for workplace injuries, and hold employers accountable for providing a safe working environment.
Personal injury claims and lawsuits are an important deterrent to other employers who would try to cut corners and expose their workers to unnecessary safety risks. By asserting the legal right to compensation, injured workers are both protecting their own legal rights and protecting potential future victims from harm.