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Work-related fall injuries are all too common

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 261,930 workers in 2014 missed one or more days from work because of a fall-related injury. Even worse, nearly 800 workers died in falls. Every year, American businesses pay out more than $70 billion in workers' compensation and medical costs related to fall incidents. The number of accidents continues to be high, so workers in New York should know what can be done to prevent them.

The construction industry has the highest risk for fall-related deaths. However, fall-related injuries are most frequent in the health care industry, followed by the wholesale and retail industries. Those who are in charge of cleaning and maintenance, move materials around, or engaged in construction or extraction are most susceptible to injury risks. Common hazards include elevated surfaces that are slippery or not fitted with railings, holes in the floor and ladders in unsafe positions.

Business owners are probably aware that federal organizations like OSHA have regulations in place concerning fall prevention and protection. However, the lack of a safety culture, where employees and employers share a safety-first mindset, contributes to the steady injury rates over the years. Employers and employees must work with industry regulators and professional associations to create this safety culture and implement new safety technologies.

Employees who get hurt in construction site accidents may be eligible for compensation. A lawyer could advise a victim to file for workers' compensation on the basis of strict liability. The other option is to file a personal injury claim. In such a case, the lawyer can then hire investigators to find proof of the employer's negligence before negotiating for a settlement.

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