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Preventing falls to protect workers in North Carolina

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 212,760 workers were injured in 2009 after falling on the job. In addition, 605 workers were killed due to falls in that same year. Although workers in the construction field may be at the highest risk for falling, those working in retail or building maintenance may also be at risk for falls. Typically, falls occur because workers are climbing on slippery or uneven surfaces.

Workers may also be at a higher risk of a fall if the ladder that they are climbing is not positioned correctly or there are unguarded edges. In areas where fall protections are utilized, workers may still be at risk for a fall that causes injury or death if the protections are not used properly. Although federal fall safety guidelines are in place, lack of safety culture or training contribute to steady fall numbers each year.

Reducing the number of accidents related to falls could help businesses across the world save money. In the United States alone, companies spend $70 billion annually on workers' compensation and other costs helping workers recover from their injuries. To prevent injuries, experts contend that it will take a coordinated effort between union leaders, safety regulators and workers themselves to keep everyone safe on the job.

Workers who have been hurt while on the job may consult with a workers' compensation attorney. Doing so may make it possible to determine what types of benefits may be available to those who have been hurt at work. Compensation may be available to help pay for medical bills or to cover lost earnings if an injury keeps an individual out of work temporarily. Benefits may also be available to the family members of those who die as a result of a work accident.

Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Fall Injuries Prevention in the Workplace", accessed on Jan. 11, 2015

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