There's a reason that many companies require non-slip shoes for jobs ranging from manufacturing work to customer service. Workers who slip or fall while on the job can end up suffering serious injuries. In fact, falls are one of the leading causes of injury to workers in the United States. How much risk an employee has for a fall will vary depending on the job they perform.
Construction workers toiling at great heights are at higher risk of a fall then someone who works a register for a living. However, falls can happen to people who work in any industry. Wet floors, stairs and even slippery sidewalks could all contribute to a worker falling.
Thankfully, workers who get hurt after a fall on the job can typically expect California's workers' compensation insurance program to cover their financial losses.
Broken bones are a common consequence of falls
When someone falls, the trauma of impact is generally what causes injuries. Many times, individuals attempt to brace themselves when they fall, which can lead to broken bones in the fingers, hands and arms.
In other situations, such as where a worker falls but lands on their feet, broken legs are also possible. Older workers who slip and fall may be at increased risk for broken ribs and broken hips.
Some broken bones will heal quickly, while others may take some time. Factors including the size of the bone, the health of the employee and the age of the injured party can all impact how long it takes to recover from a broken bone.
Often, recovery time is somewhere from several weeks to several months. Workers may not be able to return to their job until after the bone sets and they regain full mobility.
Head injuries are another potential risk when a worker falls
It is relatively common for those who fall to strike their heads as they go down. Regardless of whether someone strikes their head on the floor or on nearby fixtures, furniture or walls, a blow to the head may cause a serious brain injury.
Traumatic brain injuries are often expensive to treat. In many cases, the symptoms that arise may prove to be permanent. Some workers will recover from traumatic brain injuries with medical care and physical therapy. Others may never be able to return to their jobs.
Broken bones and brain injuries are just two of the many potential injuries workers' could suffer when they fall at work. Those who suffer serious injuries as a result of an accident on the job should explore the potential for workers' compensation benefits.