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Lack of Fall Prevention Still a Top Cause of Work Injuries

One construction worker lays on the ground after falling from a higher elevation. A second worker checks on him.

A New York Workers’ Comp Attorney Explains the Problem

Falls, slips, and trips continue to be leading causes of serious and fatal work accidents.

An annual report on the top Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) violations says that more falls were cited in 2021 than any other type of at-work injury-causing or deadly accident.

This is the 11th year in a row in which falls ranked as the most frequently cited violation of OSHA safety standards.

Falls, Slips, & Trips at Work in NYC

In New York City, as well as upstate, some of the industries in which employees are most at risk for injury-causing falls include construction, health care, trucking, transportation, utilities, education, manufacturing, food production, maintenance, plumbing, and heating.

Nationwide, the construction industry accounted for 22% of all nonfatal accidents involving "falls to a lower level" that also required days away from work for the employee to heal.

The NYC construction industry has about 7 fatalities per 100,000 full times workers, according to BLS data. Statewide (including NYC) the fatality rate is 11.

Workplace falls can often lead to lifelong disabilities and ongoing pain. It is important for victims of on-the-job accidents to understand their rights to compensation through New York's workers' compensation program as well as any potential third-party claims.

Fall Prevention Standards

Unfortunately, workers are being injured and killed on the job by the same types of accidents that were causing severe damage 10 years ago. OSHA's top 10 most-cited safety standard violations ranking is similar to prior years.

OSHA safety standards require, in general, that walk surfaces at work, including passageways, storerooms, service rooms, and walking-working areas, are kept clean, orderly, and sanitary. They must be kept free of hazards such as sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.

If a potential workplace hazard cannot be fixed right away, OSHA safety standards say that the employer should guard the risky area to prevent employees from using the walking-working surface until the issue has been resolved.

A National Safety Council study of factors in work falls identified a handful of common accident contributors such as insufficient or altered walking surfaces, other people obstacles, footwear, cleaning, and contaminants.

Common On-the-Job Fall Injuries

Some of the most common fall-related injuries suffered by working people include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Severe cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Muscle sprains, strains, and tears
  • Deep contusions and bruises
  • Burns
  • Amputation
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis

If you were injured on the job in New York, it's important to remember that you have the right to seek workers' compensation benefits. After a bad workplace accident, illness, or injury, workers' comp can help an employee pay for medical treatment, therapy, and lost wages while they heal.

Fighting for Injured Workers in New York

While the workers' comp program is available to almost all NY workers, there is no guarantee that a seriously injured employee will have their application accepted or fully funded by the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. This frequently leaves individuals and families scrambling to find money to pay for necessary medical treatment and monthly expenses.

For the last 80 years, injured NYC workers have turned to Pasternack, Tilker, Ziegler, Walsh, Stanton & Romano LLP for help.

Our established NY workers' comp law firm takes on the insurance companies, identifies possible third parties as potential sources of compensation, investigates your accident, and aggressively advocates for your best interests.

We serve all of New York City and the state, and we offer free case evaluations to injured workers. We also provide free consultations to families of workers killed on the job due to an accident, injury, or illness.

If you are injured or lost a loved one in a work accident, contact our law firm to learn more about how we can help you.

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