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3 ways a fall on the job could lead to extended time off of work
Falls are a risk in just about any workplace, not just those that involve significant elevations. Obviously, construction workers, window washers and roofing specialists all have a higher-than-usual risk of experiencing a fall from and noteworthy elevation on the job. However, falls can also occur at the same level and can lead to injuries for hospital employees, retail workers and manufacturing specialists.
People are often surprisingly dismissive of the risks involved in a fall, especially if it is a same-level fall. However, when people fall, they can suffer injuries that require an extended leave of absence from work. What kinds of injuries lead to lost-time incidents in the workplace because of a fall?
1. Soft tissue injuries
It is an instinctive reaction to flail and to try to catch oneself during a fall. People’s tensing and reaching on their way down can lead to soft tissue injuries in their necks, shoulders, arms, backs and hips. Depending on the severity of the soft tissue injury, it may require a leave of absence from work. Those in blue-collar professions are at elevated risk of needing a leave of absence to allow a soft tissue injury to heal.
2. Broken bones
Especially when the person who falls is over the age of 55, their chance of breaking a bone is higher than it would be for a younger individual. Broken bones typically require a minimum of six to eight weeks to heal, and workers may need to take a leave of absence or request light-duty work until the cast comes off and the bone heals.
3. Traumatic brain injuries
Perhaps the worst-case scenario for someone who falls on the job is that they hurt their brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can potentially cause issues ranging from changes in personality and a reduction in fine motor control skills to memory issues and problems with balance.
Those with TBIs may need to permanently change their work responsibilities. In severe cases, they may never be able to work again. When serious work injuries result from falls, victims need to understand their rights and options under the law. Working with an experienced legal professional can help hard-working people to pursue any and all compensation to which they are rightfully entitled.