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It may come as a surprise that the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falls. In 2016, 34,673 people died in falls at home and at work, according to Injury Facts®, and for working adults, depending on the industry, falls can be the leading cause of death.
In 2016, 697 workers died in falls to a lower level, and 48,060 were
injured badly enough to require days off of work. A worker doesn't have fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries; 134 workers were killed in falls on the same level in 2016, according to Injury Facts. 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 2016 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.
Are you a weekend warrior or do-it-yourselfer? If you take on home improvement or other weekend projects, it's important to prepare yourself for physical exertion, especially if you've been sedentary through the winter months, and take extra precautions to prevent falls.
Risky projects, like installing siding, gutters or roofs, are best left to professionals. Saving money isn't worth risking a debilitating or fatal fall.
At home or at work, many of the same rules apply. When taking on a project:
We tend to think we're always safe on flat ground, but the thousands of injuries each year tell us otherwise.
About 9.2 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2016. 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 home and at work.
Join NSC and OSHA; Fall-Safety Stand-Down is Sept. 14-18, 2020.
Statistics and solutions for keeping your loved ones safe from falls.
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