Common fall hazards in the workplace

Workers may notice a variety of falling hazards at work, including misused protective gear, cluttered or unsafe walkways and unprotected heights.

In New Jersey, fall injuries can be a big problem in the workplace. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wounds caused by falling create a roughly $70 billion financial burden in the United States each year because of medical bills and missed time at work. Over 250,000 workers have to miss one or more days of work due to a fall they took at work. In 798 cases over the course of a single year, a person died because of a fall hazard. While fall dangers may be more prevalent on construction sites, they may still exist in the relative safety of office buildings.

Misused personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment, such as safety harnesses, work boots and handrails, is designed to keep workers safe while they are on the job. However, if this gear is misused or not provided by management, it can actually be a greater hazard. Workers not only need to have access to safety gear, but they also need to be trained on how to use the equipment. Business owners can reduce the risk of misused personal protective equipment by holding regular training and ensuring the best safety gear is available.

Obstructed walkways

Obstructed walkways can be a problem in office spaces, at construction sites and many other work locations. Common obstructions include the following:

  • Uneven floors
  • Wet spots
  • Exposed cords
  • Unorganized clutters
  • Loose rugs

Obstructions create a dangerous environment because they may trip workers up. In order to avoid this type of fall hazard, employers must keep walkways clean and in good condition. If a spill happens, the liquid should be cleaned up as quickly as possible. Safety managers may need to install nonslip carpets to keep all of the workers safe.

Unprotected heights

Heights can be a danger in the workplace whether someone has to repair a roof or change a lightbulb. Companies should install handrails near edges and along stairways to reduce the risk of falling. Even posted signs can help minimize this hazard because workers will know to act with more caution. If an employee has to climb a ladder, it should be placed on a sturdy surface to make it easier for the person to safely climb to the top. Employers can further reduce this falling hazard by training those workers who have to be around heights regularly.

Many New Jersey work sites may be filled with falling, tripping and slipping hazards. If an injury takes place at work, it is beneficial for the person to work with an attorney familiar with this type of personal injury case regardless of the severity of the injury.