There are certain professions that people commonly associate with fall risk. Window washers, professional painters, construction workers and tree trimmers all do their jobs at a significant elevation. Anyone who regularly uses ladders or scaffolding on the job is potentially at risk of a major fall that could lead to their serious injury or death.
However, falls are not a niche safety concern limited to employees in certain industries. Instead, they are a universal work hazard present in almost every job environment. People don’t need to fall from a significant height to end up hurt on the job.
Same-level falls are a major safety concern
The reason people underestimate how common fall injuries on the job are is often that they fail to consider same-level falls. A slip-and-fall or trip could lead to significant injuries. Someone who slips or trips and falls could break a bone, hit their head or develop a soft tissue injury that leaves them in chronic pain. Therefore, workers in literally any profession could potentially fall on the job and require medical attention. Their injuries could also force them to take a leave of absence from work while they recover.
Falls claim hundreds of lies annually
While a fall from a significant elevation is an obvious safety concern, even a same-level fall could prove deadly if someone has underlying health issues or if they strike their head. Every year, hundreds of workers die because they fall. Hundreds of thousands of additional workers develop workplace injuries that require treatment or time off because they fall at work. Some workers undergo treatment and can eventually return to the same job where they got injured. Others may need to change professions because of the permanent functional limitations created by their injuries.
Even if a worker potentially caused a fall on their own because they were clumsy or rushed too much while at work, they can still potentially qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The coverage available includes both disability benefits to replace wages while someone is unable to work and full health care benefits that cover treatment costs without making someone pay for their care out of pocket.