Falls at Work
Falls at work can happen in any profession. Icy sidewalks and parking lots, working at heights, and poorly lit stairwells are just a few examples of fall hazards that workers can face. Employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment that is free from recognized safety risks. In some industries, there are safety standards and regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that employers must comply with. Falls at work can cause serious injuries with devastating lifelong consequences. If you have been injured in a fall at work, contact a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you receive the compensation you deserve to make a full recovery.
Common Causes of Falls at Work
There are many different causes of falls in the workplace, including:
- Inadequate lighting in stairwells and parking lots
- Snow, ice, and other unsafe weather-related conditions
- Uneven flooring
- Slippery surfaces
- Unsafe ladders or scaffolding
- Poorly maintained safety equipment, such as guard rails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest equipment
Who is at Risk?
Workers across all industries may face the risk of a fall, however, there are some occupations that experience fall injuries at a higher rate. They include those working in:
- Construction: Workers are often required to work at heights or in areas full of building materials and other obstacles
- Roofing: Moss, deteriorated roofing materials, and inclement weather conditions can create slippery work conditions for roofers
- Manufacturing: Falls from heights are very common in this profession
- Restaurants: Cooking oil, spills, and busy kitchens are all hazards that lead to slip and fall accidents
- Retail: Setting up displays and stocking shelves put workers at risk for a fall, as do slippery floors, uneven carpet or tile, and spilled liquids
In some industries, such as construction, falls are the leading cause of fatalities and serious injury. A fall at work can result in injuries that require extensive medical care and rehabilitation afterwards. Some common injuries from falls include:
- Broken bones
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Hand, arm, ankle, and leg injuries
- Sprains and strains
Preventing Falls at Work
Almost all falls are preventable. As mentioned previously, employers have a responsibility to maintain a workplace free of safety hazards. They must also provide training to employees about safety risks at work and how to avoid injury. This training must be in a language they can understand. Floors should be kept clean and dry with any holes or other hazards clearly marked. If necessary, employers must provide personal protective equipment, such as safety nets, hard hats, and personal fall arrest systems. This equipment must be checked daily for wear and tear and maintained to OSHA standards.
Compensation for Work-Related Fall Injuries
Workers’ compensation provides relief to those injured in a fall at work, even if you think you were partially responsible. If possible, take pictures of the circumstances surrounding your accident and obtain the contact information of anyone who witnessed it. It is important to notify your employer immediately of your injury and seek medical care. A successful workers’ compensation claim could result in the following benefits:
- Wage loss benefits: For the time spent away from work recovering
- Medical benefits: To cover emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor visits, prescriptions, and physical therapy
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Death benefits: For surviving family members who have lost a loved one
While it is not required, consulting a workers’ compensation lawyer who has extensive experience with the workers’ compensation system can help you navigate the process and alleviate the stress of meeting filing deadlines so that you can concentrate on your recovery.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Represent Injured Workers
If you suffered injuries from a fall at work, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to the experienced South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP to find out what your case may be worth. Call us today at 856-761-3773 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we help injured workers throughout South Jersey, including the City of Camden.