BLOG NUMBER 20.88
The second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falling. In 2019, 39,443 people died as a result of a fall at home and at work, according to Injury Facts®. And depending on the industry safety, falls can even be the leading cause of death for working adults. Whether you are an employer or not, here is some helpful information to help you prevent these tragedies from happening in your workplace or home.
In 2019, 880 workers died as a result of a fall, and 244,000 were injured to the point of needing time off. A worker doesn’t have to fall from a high level to suffer a fatal injury. In fact, 146 workers were killed in falls on level ground in 2019, according to Injury Facts. Construction workers are more than seven times at risk for fatal falls from height compared to other industries – but falls can happen anywhere, even in a corporate ‘desk job’ environment.
Falls are almost always preventable.
Whether working from a ladder, roof, or scaffolding, it’s important to plan ahead to assess the risk and ensure you are using the right equipment. First, determine if working from a height is absolutely necessary or if there is another way to complete the task more safely. Here are some safety tips to consider:
- Discuss the task with coworkers and management to determine what safety equipment is needed
- Don’t engage in a task unless you are properly trained to complete it
- Before starting a job, scan the work area for potential hazards
- If you have to set up equipment, make sure you have level ground on which to do so
- If working outside, check the weather forecast; Don’t risk a fall by working in inclement weather
- Don’t lean or reach while on a ladder, and always have someone support the base
- Always assess your work equipment to ensure it is in working order before use
Fall Hazards In the Office & at Home
At home or in an office work environment, many of the same rules apply. We tend to think we’re always safe on flat ground, but the thousands of slip & fall injuries each year tell us otherwise. Here are some important things to consider:
- Keep work areas clear of hazards and immediately clean up spills when they happen
- Keep floors and surfaces clear of unnecessary clutter
- Always close cabinets and desk drawers after use
- Keep electrical and phone cords out of high traffic areas
- Install handrails and gripped tread on stairways
- Never stand on elevated surfaces or any surface with wheels
- Properly arrange furniture to create open pathways for necessary walking
- Always maintain good lighting indoors and outdoors
Falls are the leading cause of death and debilitating injury for older adults, and more than 8 million people were treated in emergency rooms for slip & fall-related injuries in 2019. A fall can end in death or disability in a split second, but with a few simple precautions, you can ensure that your work and home spaces will keep you and any employees or visitors safe.
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