Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Preventing workplace falls is in everyone's interests

DISABLING INJURIES COST U.S. EMPLOYERS $1 BILLION A WEEK

Falling accidents are among the most costly for employers in terms of missed work. It is probably no coincidence that three of the top OSHA violations involve ladders, scaffolds and fall protection equipment.

Everyone wins when management and employees adhere to safety regulations. Liberty Mutual Insurance has ranked the Top 10 worst work injuries. Are your working conditions putting you at risk of a disabling workplace accident?

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FALLS LEAD THE LIST OF WORST WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS

Liberty Mutual's annual Workplace Safety Index ranks the most serious nonfatal work-related injuries by their direct costs. The 10 most serious accidents - those that cause employees to miss six or more days of work - cost employers almost $60 billion in 2014.

More than one-fourth of the total costs involved falling injuries:

  • Falls on the same level (slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall, stairs)
  • Falls from a second level (scaffold, roof, floor opening)

The majority of falling accidents can be prevented by adhering to OSHA regulations and company rules relating to ladders, scaffolding and fall protection systems. Keeping work areas clear of debris, promptly addressing spills or putting out caution cones can prevent many slipping and tripping accidents.

OVEREXERTION CAUSES MANY DISABLING INJURIES

The other major category of injuries causing employees to miss work is overexertion. Nearly one-fourth of the costs of serious lost-time injuries arise from lifting, pulling, pushing, holding, carrying or throwing objects and equipment. These mundane tasks can become disabling when the thing is too heavy or workers are not provided safety equipment or assistance. Back injuries, fractures and injuries to joints can be slow to heal or easily re-injured.

The top 10 most serious injuries cost U.S. employers more than $1 billion a week. In addition to falls and overexertion, the most costly categories are: struck by object or equipment, struck against object or equipment, roadway incidents, slip/trip injuries without a fall, caught in or compressed by equipment, and repetitive motions.

The most disabling workplace injuries are often the most preventable. All parties in the chain - employees, employers and workers' compensation insurers - have a vested interest in reducing these claims. Follow procedure, watch out for each other, insist on safety equipment and report any OSHA violations or unsafe conditions.

In the event of a workplace injury that will cause you to miss work, contact a workers' compensation lawyer to protect your rights and receive all entitled benefits.

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