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How significant are falls on the job?

Falls are a leading cause of injuries and deaths in the workplace. People who normally work at heights might get used to them and be familiar with safety procedures used to keep them safe, but if anything goes wrong, even a short fall could lead to catastrophic injuries or death.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 34,673 people died in falls in 2016. Among workers, 697 people died as a result of falling from one level to another. Another 134 workers died after falling on the same level.

What are the industries that are most affected by falls?

Based on the statistics from 2016, the construction injury is most likely to see fatal falls. In that year, 384 people died as a result of falls in the industry.

Falls also took lives in manufacturing, retail trade, wholesale trade and transportation and warehousing. Office jobs aren't spared, because professional and business services also saw 111 deaths from falls.

The sad truth about falls is that they are completely preventable. Whether it's using a buddy system to make sure a ladder is held steady or training to make sure a team knows how to use personal protective equipment, it's possible to reduce the likelihood of falls and to minimize their impact if they do happen.

If you fall and are hurt on the job, it's important that you seek workers' compensation. If you lose a loved one in a fall on the job, then you may want to speak with the employer about workers' compensation bereavement benefits or look into filing a wrongful death claim.

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