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Falling in the Workplace

By Evan L. Kaine

Five o’clock has finally hit and you grab your keys to brave the commute home. On your way out the door you suddenly and unexpectedly fall to the ground. You may have picked yourself up immediately, (more embarrassed than anything) or you endured a serious injury.
Every year there are thousands of people who sustain a fall at their place of business—many of which can be avoided. According to the 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 605 workers were killed and an estimated 212,760 workers were seriously injured by falls to the same or lower level. In more recent data, the number of falls has steadily been between 223,000-229,000 incidents each year since 2011.

Many workplace fall incidents involve slippery, cluttered or unstable walking areas. Other environments have unmarked areas where employees can easily fall and cause permanent damage. Unfortunately, fall prevention and protection safety has been neglected by so many businesses that rates have remained steady year after year.
Of the 70 fatal work injuries reported in Georgia in 2013, 24 resulted from transportation incidents, 17 from contact with objects and equipment, and 14 from falls, slips, or trips. Together these three major categories accounted for more than three-quarters of all fatal work injuries.

According to the CDC, fall injuries constitute a considerable financial burden: workers’ compensation and medical costs associated with occupational fall incidents have been estimated at approximately $70 billion annually in the United States. Many countries are facing the same challenges as the United States on fall injury in the workplace. The international public health community has a strong interest in developing strategies to reduce the toll of fall injuries.

If you have suffered a workplace injury, the state of Georgia provides in most, but not all, work injury cases a one (1) year period of time in which to file a claim for compensation.  Far too often an injured employee rushes to settle and later regrets their decision as their injuries have become increasingly worse.  Alternatively, many employees take the position that their employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier is adjusting the claim fairly, but many Georgia employees don’t know their rights and what the worker’s compensation adjuster is not telling them.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at Kaine Law if something unfortunate occurs at your workplace.

Published February 23, 2015
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