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It may come as a surprise that the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falls. In 2015, nearly 33,381 people died in falls at home and at work – and for working adults, depending on the industry, falls can be the leading cause of death.
In 2014, 660 workers died in falls from a higher level, and 49,210 were
injured badly enough to require days off of work. A worker doesn't have fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries. While half of all fatal falls in 2014 occurred from 20 feet or lower, 12% were from less than 6 feet, according to
Injury Facts 2017®.
Construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls from height – more than seven times the rate of other industries – but falls can happen anywhere, even at a "desk job."
NSC data for 2014 includes falls from height and falls on the same level, by industry:
Whether working from a ladder, roof or scaffolding, it's important to plan ahead, assess the risk and use the right equipment. First, determine if working from a height is absolutely necessary or if there is another way to do the task safely.
Millions of people are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every year. A fall can end in death or disability in a split second, but with a few simple precautions, you'll be sure stay safe at at work.
Get the tools to help keep workers safe when working at heights.
Slips, trips and falls are a major cause of injury and death in the workplace. Find and prevent hazards with NSC training.
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The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Donate to our cause.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.