Falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries in Pennsylvania and across the United States. Oftentimes, workers who do their jobs at a significant elevation have the highest risk of such injuries. Falls from a significant elevation are one of the leading causes of death on construction sites as a result.
However, anyone can fall on the job, from prison guards to school secretaries. Same-level falls are one of the top reasons that people file for workers’ compensation benefits, and these incidents can sometimes lead to severe injuries.
Same-level falls don’t receive the respect that they should from workers or their employers. Federal injury data from 2020 shows that 136 workers died because of a same-level fall during that year alone. Over 127,000 others required medical benefits or time off of work because of a job injury caused by a same-level fall. How does a same-level fall lead to the need for worker’s compensation benefits?
A worker breaks a bone or suffers a soft tissue injury
People often flail their limbs or try to catch themselves when they fall. A worker could break a bone by going down on their arm too fast or by striking an ankle on a piece of equipment nearby as they fall.
People can also suffer soft tissue injuries when they fall due to their sudden movements or the exertion of trying to stop the fall from occurring. Soft tissue injuries and broken bones can lead to weeks of time off of work and expensive medical treatment, possibly including physical therapy.
Someone hits their head
The reason that people die in a same-level fall is usually because they suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs can range from mild brain injuries that only require basic treatment and rest to severe brain injuries that require permanent life support. Brain injuries frequently lead to extensive emergency trauma care needs and lost wages due to decreased earning potential and/or an inability to work.
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits after a same-level fall on the job to help employees continue paying their bills despite their injuries. As some of these injuries can be truly costly, it is important for injured workers to collect all that they’re rightfully owed.