Due to the high number of fall accidents that occur in California workplaces annually, regulators and leaders of the various industries are persistent in their quest to develop ways to reduce fall injuries and fatalities. Although there are very strict safety regulations prescribed by regulators such as the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a culture of substandard safety involving improper practices across different industries persists. Employees have the right to be provided with safe workplace surroundings to reduce the likelihood of workers' injuries.
Whether a worker falls from the third step of a ladder or a scaffold at a height of 80 feet, the consequences could be severe. Statistics show that the highest number of fatal fall accidents occur in the construction industry, while most nonfatal injuries result from people falling in the retail and wholesale industries, along with health services. Fall accidents on construction sites commonly involve walking and working on surfaces such as scaffolding that is unsafe, along with the non-use or disregard of fall protection. In the retail and wholesale industries, many fall accidents are caused by wet and slippery floors, cluttered isles and debris on the floor.
The reduction in the number of fall accidents could only be reduced through the cooperation of all concerned parties. This includes industry leaders, labor unions and safety regulators, along with employers, supervisors and employees. Understandably, company owners should avoid circumstances where worker safety is disregarded in favor of quicker job completion.
California workers who find themselves part of the statistics of fall accidents may find comfort knowing that the workers' compensation insurance fund endeavors to provide financial assistance to victims of workers' injuries. Workers who are covered by the fund do not have to prove fault of any other party in order to be eligible for these important, state-regulated insurance benefits. Any employees who was hurt on-the-job (or the surviving families of those who lost their life in such a manner) may benefit from visiting our workers' compensation website to see how we can protect your interests after assessing the circumstances of your workplace injury.
Source: cdc.gov, "Fall injuries prevention in the workplace", , Sept. 19, 2014