Professions come with different risks. Those who work in oil and gas extraction, for example, have the risk of injury from fire or explosions, while those who work in agriculture have risks related to farm machinery.
There are certain risks that persist from career to career, and these can be as significant as industry-specific risks that endanger you in your workplace. For example, transportation remains one of the leading causes of worker fatalities in many industries, even if the job itself is not directly transportation-related.
There is another risk that affects everyone from food service workers and office employees to construction crews and lumber professionals. It is a risk so common that people tend to just ignore it.
Slip-and-falls are a serious risk for many employees
According to the National Safety Council, falls remain a leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths. In 2019, there were 880 reported worker fatalities because of a fall. Another 244,000 workers got hurt badly enough by falling that they needed to take time off of their jobs. In total, that is more than a quarter of a million workers hurt by falls in the workplace.
Slip-and-falls often don’t receive the respect they deserve as a workplace risk. A worker doesn’t need to fall from a significant height to get severely hurt or die. Of the 880 fall fatalities in 2019, 146 or about 17% occurred at the same level. While people in certain careers, like construction, are more likely to fall from significant heights, you can work anywhere and experience a slip-and-fall incident that results in severe injuries.
Workers’ compensation protects you even if the fall is your fault
Maybe you didn’t wear your slip-resistant shoes to work because you need to replace them. Perhaps you are the one who spilled the fluid or objects that made you slip and then fall. You might even have been talking to a co-worker or checking your phone instead of watching your path as you walked.
Even if you directly cause your own slip-and-fall incident, you still have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Disability pay and medical coverage can help you focus on your recovery, but you have to understand your rights to get the benefits that you deserve.