Falls are one of the biggest workplace hazards in Florida and across the United States, affecting thousands each year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fall injuries took more than 261,900 people from their jobs and killed an additional 798 workers in one year alone.
While falls are almost completely preventable, education is key in identifying dangerous situations, training employees and keeping the workplace safe for everyone.
Where can falls accidents occur?
This safety hazard extends to a wide-range of work environments, including construction sites, warehouses and office buildings. The leading cause of death in construction accidents involve falls from scaffolding, ladders and roofs, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, slip and fall incidents can happen in any industry, such as offices, retail settings, healthcare, transportation and maintenance.
How to handle the issue?
It is the employers responsibility to ensure all work sites are safe and free from potential hazards. Planning ahead is critical and making sure the right equipment is provided for employees to get the job done. Other ways to reduce employee fall risk include the following:
- Provide proper safety training
- Provide safety equipment
- Keep areas clean and uncluttered
- Protect edges, wall openings and floor holes
- Position ladders and scaffolding properly before use
Falls injuries and deaths are preventable. Not only do they harm the employee, but they impact the workplace as well. Medical costs, insurance coverage and workers’ compensation expenses can place a financial burden, placing an approximate $70 billion charge in the U.S. every year, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, the long-term disabilities caused by falls can impact the healthcare system.