Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer
The Francis Law Group
Workplace Falls from Heights
In 2013, more than 57,000 workers in America were injured in a fall from a height, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employees miss an average of 20 days of work after a falling accident, something that can cause a major financial predicament for families. Also, falls from heights are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities, comprising 12 percent of all occupational deaths, the BLS reports.
Workers who’ve been injured in falls from heights should seek out all the benefits to which they’re entitled under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. If the accident was fatal, their family should seek the full extent of death benefits they are due. For information about to what you might be entitled after a work accident, call The Francis Law Group for a free consultation.
Employees Most at Risk for Falls
Despite workplace safety programs, falls in the workplace are still on the rise. Unequivocally, the sector most at risk for fatal falls is the construction industry. This makes sense with the regularity with which they must work from heights and the hectic, hazard-laden nature of construction sites. For non-fatal falls, health care workers and wholesale/retail workers experience the most incidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Below is a list of workers who are more at risk for falling accidents.
- Transportation workers
- Warehouse workers
- Fisherman and shipyard workers
- Electrical power installers
- Forestry workers
- Steelworkers on bridges and building
- Window washers
- Elevator workers
- Hoist and winch operators
Causes of Workplace Falls from Heights
There are numerous hazards in the workplace that contribute to falls. Many falls can be prevented by following safety guidelines and exercising caution around hazards. Our firm routinely handles many types of work-related falling accidents. Some of contributing factors that we’ve seen in these types of claims include lack of employee training and experience, workers or employers deviating from safety protocols and operation practices, and working in unfamiliar environments or on unfamiliar tasks.
Below are additional common circumstances of workplace falling accidents.
- Slippery floors
- Lack of barricading
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Open holes/shafts
- Inadequate safety procedures
- Defective harnesses or faulty cables
- Poorly constructed scaffolding
- Broken or poorly placed ladders
- Unprotected edges
The Costs of Workplace Fall Injuries
Injuries that occur from falls from heights are usually quite severe, if not fatal. Fractures, muscle and tendon injuries, head injuries, chest, and spinal injuries are not uncommon. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimated in 2007 that the average workers’ compensation claim for a fall was more than $50,300. Roofing falls are the costliest, with the average claim totaling more than $107,000. Required medical attention usually includes the following.
- Pre-hospital services, i.e., Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
- Radiology and imaging
- Surgery (sometimes multiple)
- Intensive care
- Hospital stay
- Rehabilitation services, including physical therapy
And of course, the above figure doesn’t account for the loss of income workers and their families have to deal with. These preventable accidents cause a hardship both on families and on the health care system. Perhaps stricter regulation and improved workplace safety practices could help reduce risks.
Getting the Benefits You Need
If you or your loved one were seriously injured in a workplace fall, you owe it to yourself and your family to explore all your options for benefits and recompense. With serious cases, it’s advisable to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney for help with the claim. An attorney can ensure you get the maximum amount allowable and can help you address any issues that might arise during the course of your claim. Also, if another party was at fault in the accident, an attorney can help you pursue additional compensation by filing a third party claim.
For help from an established firm in Orlando, contact the Francis Law Group. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 407-363-9939.