National Safety Month-Fall Prevention
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss National Safety Month-Fall prevention. It may come as a surprise that the 2nd leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falls. According to Injury Facts®, 42,114 people died in falls at home and at work in 2020. For working adults, and depending on the industry, falls can be the leading cause of death.
Hazards in the Workplace
In 2020, 805 workers died in falls, and 211,640 were injured badly enough to require days off of work. You don’t have to fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries. Construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls from a height – more than 7x’s the rate of other industries – but falls can happen anywhere, even at a “desk job.” Check out this industry profile to see the most recent data on workplace injuries and deaths by occupation.
Falls are 100% Preventable
Whether working from a ladder, roof, or scaffolding, it’s important to plan. Assess the risk and be sure to use the right equipment. First determine if working from a height is necessary. Or could it be done safely another way. We tend to think we’re always safe on flat ground, but the thousands of injuries each year tell us otherwise.
Fall Hazards at Home
Are you a weekend warrior or do-it-yourselfer? Do you take on home improvements or other weekend projects? Be sure to take extra precautions to prevent falls. Many of the same rules apply whether you take on projects at work or at home. Falls are the #1 cause of death for older adults.
- Fall proof your home and your work area
- Keep floors and surfaces clear of clutter
- Keep file cabinets and desk drawers closed
- Keep electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
- Install handrails on stairways
- Never stand on chairs, tables, or any surface with wheels
- Properly arrange furniture to create open pathways
- Maintain good lighting indoors and out
More than 6.8 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2019. A fall can end in death or disability in a split second. But, with a few simple precautions, you be stay safe at home and at work.
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