Spinal cord injuries can cause traumatic results to the human body, often resulting in permanent disabilities. Depending on where the damage is located and its severity, the victim may lose partial or all feeling below the injury. This may affect the ability to control motor functions and can lead to paralysis.
Certain industry workers face an increased risk of spinal injuries, especially those who work in construction and transportation. A November 2018 study published by the University of Sydney concluded that these industries have insufficient prevention procedures and systems. They analyzed data from 824 job-related spinal cord injuries in South Wales, Australia from 2013 to 2016. Out of these, 50 percent were construction workers and 31 percent were transportation workers.
The Center for Construction Research and Training’s (CPWR) yearly reports show statistics on non-fatal and fatal fall injuries amongst construction industry workers. Much of the data is gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2015, there was a total of 985 work-related fatalities in the construction industry. The main cause consisted of falls from heights, which accounted for one-third of fatalities.
The CPWR report also included studies by The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. From 2011 to 2015, there was a 36 percent in fall fatalities. It was also shown that the highest percentages of these falls were from roofs and ladders. Other areas that were mentioned in this category included scaffolding, machinery, and towers.
The Fall Prevention Campaign
Considering this concerning data, CPWR partnered with the National Occupational Research Agenda, the National Institute for Occupational Safety, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to co-sponsor the National Fall Prevention Campaign back in 2012. Their focus is on educating the public and working to prevent construction industry falls.
The first step toward preventing construction and transportation worker spinal cord injuries is to make safety a priority. Planning out the work in advance and allowing for appropriate safety equipment are essential. These costs should be allocated for in cost estimating and budgeting. All potential hazards should be identified and discussed. Employees that are working six or more feet above a lower level are at a high risk for falling and must be issued proper safety equipment and tools, including helmets, fall protection gear, and personal fall arrest systems.
Safety Tips for Transportation Workers
Individuals that drive for a living can also suffer catastrophic falls. Keeping the vehicle free of debris, using stepladders, and moving carefully can all prevent falls. Wearing a safety belt and proper footwear should be second nature. Drivers should pay attention to how they interact with the vehicle and its design. Fall risks include unsafe handholds and footholds, unstable ladders, and slippery surfaces.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Help Injured Workers with Spinal Injuries
If you have been injured at work and need help with a Workers’ Compensation claim, contact the experienced Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP. We help workers in many industries with all types of claims, including spinal cord injuries. Call us today at 856-761-3773 or complete an online form today. Our office is in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we represent clients in South Jersey and the City of Camden.