Falls at work can be extremely dangerous. In fact, they’re closely related to serious injuries and fatalities on the job. Certain kinds of work pose a higher risk of injurious falls than others do, so familiarize yourself with the risks you face at your workplace and always make safety on the job your goal.
Work Injuries & The Most Dangerous Jobs
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that falls are the third leading cause of deaths related to injuries on the job. In addition, construction workers are the laborers who are most likely to fall and be injured on the job. Even people who work behind desks, however, are not immune to serious injuries caused by falls at work. Based on statistics from 2013, the NSC ranks those jobs that are most likely to cause injurious falls (in descending order):
- Jobs in the construction field
- Jobs in manufacturing
- Jobs in the wholesale and retail trades
- Jobs in transportation
- Jobs in warehousing
While any job can lead to a serious fall, these occupations are the most closely related. Workers beware.
If you’ve been injured by a fall on the job, you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to advocate for your rights and for your rightful compensation. The dedicated legal team at Brauns Law, PC in Gwinnett, Georgia, understands how difficult it is to sustain an injury on the job, and we’re here to help. Our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and commitment to guide your claim toward its most just resolution.
Falls at Work: The Statistics
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reports several sobering statistics related to falls on the job:
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls are responsible for 5 percent of work-related fatalities for women and are responsible for 11 percent of work-related fatalities for men.
- Falls are the number one cause of workers’ compensation claims.
- Falls are the number one cause of lost work days.
- Falls are the number one cause of work-related injuries for those who are 55 and older.
What Causes Fall on the Job?
- Any number of factors can contribute to falls on the job:
- Walkways, entryways, or sidewalks that are uneven, cracked, or crooked
- Common areas that incorporate hazardous elements
- Debris in common areas that goes unchecked
- Wet and slippery surfaces
- Snow packed and/or icy surfaces
- Bunched, wrinkled, rough, or damaged flooring
- Spills that go unchecked
- Inadequate—and thus dangerous—lighting
- Dangerous or defective work equipment
Falls can happen at the ground level or from heights, which are often the most dangerous of all the falls that take place on the job and which contribute significantly to the danger inherent to construction work.
The fatality rate associated with construction work is seven times that of any other industry, and as such it’s necessary to take a more in-depth look. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finds that construction work is responsible for 21 percent of all workplace fatalities, which makes it one of the most dangerous occupations going. OSHA further defines the dangers associated with construction work by breaking them down into four distinct classifications (known as the fatal four). Construction site falls heads this list.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation claims can be exceedingly complicated, and as such there are some specifics that it helps to be aware of:
- You can obtain workers’ compensation even if the injury was caused by your own haste or inattentiveness (after all, we’re all occasionally inattentive and hasty). If your injuries are a result of your own willful misconduct, however, you cannot.
- Georgia is an at-will employment state, and therefore—without a contract that explicitly states otherwise—your employer can fire you at any time for any reason (or for no reason), but that generally doesn’t mean that you won’t continue to receive the workers’ compensation to which you are entitled.
- Workers’ compensation provides only for medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for a sustained disability. It will not compensate you for your pain and suffering; that can only be accomplished via a personal injury claim.
- Workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy against your employer for any injuries you’ve sustained on the job. You are entitled, however, to bring a personal injury claim against any third party that may be responsible for the injuries you incurred at work (for example, if faultily manufactured equipment caused you to be injured, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the equipment manufacturer).
- If you are injured on the job, you must choose a physician from a panel of at least six qualifying doctors (or a Managed Care Organization, MCO that allows more options) that your employer provides you with (except in emergency situations). Although you may choose any doctor from this list (or MCO), you may not choose a doctor who’s not on this list (or MCO).
There are two situations in which you may continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits (for up to 350 weeks) even after you’ve returned to work:
- If you suffered a permanent partial disability in the work accident
- If you’ve returned to work at a wage that’s less than your wage was before you were injured.
If You Were Injured by a Fall on the Job, Seek Experienced Legal Counsel at Brauns Law, PC Today
If you’ve been injured by a fall at work, you know just how difficult that is. After all, your work is your livelihood, and when your very livelihood precludes you from working and earning, it can be an extremely tough emotional and financial hurdle. Though workers’ compensation is meant to cover you for such injuries, that does not mean that it will automatically cover you for the full extent of your damages. These claims are often complicated, and you’ll need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation that you’re entitled to. The dedicated legal team at Brauns Law, Personal Injury Firm, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, has the skill, experience, and determination to fight for you and your rights. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at (404) 348-0889 for a free consultation today.