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Preventing fall-related injuries and fatalities on job-sites

Louisiana workers may find the recent statistics about falls occurring on the job-site surprising. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that the majority of fall-related deaths happen in the construction industry and that the majority of non-life-threatening falls happen in health services and retail environments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded that 605 employees died in a fall-related incident, and 212,760 employees were critically injured.

A fall can occur in a variety of situations, such as when an employee climbs a ladder, uses scaffolding equipment, changes a light bulb or simply walks on a stairwell. Often, the circumstances that lead to an employee falling on the job-site are slippery surfaces, clutter, holes in the floors or unstable walking surfaces. There are federal regulations in place to prevent a hazardous work environment that could lead to a fall, but a low-priority focus on safe work conditions has caused fall injuries to remain a tremendous problem for employees.

The annual cost associated with fall incidents on job sites leading to medical expenses and worker's compensation is around $70 billion. Enhancing the work environment to prevent injuries and deaths related to a fall is an effort that will require the participation of employers and their employees, labor unions, industry leaders and safety professionals. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is the authoritative agency in occupational safety research and is currently focusing on addressing this common issue by raising awareness among the public.

Since falls on job sites have become a major problem, an employee who has been injured at work might hire an attorney to receive worker's compensation to be able to afford medical payments. Lost wages and long recovery times may be a financial burden that is difficult to overcome without the proper support.

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