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Workplace injuries: A plan to reduce falls in the workplace.

While each industry poses unique safety hazards, the risk of falls seems to be present in all workplaces, regardless of whether it involves falling to lower levels or the same level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says falls continue to be a primary cause of workplace injuries in California and other states. Safety advisers say addressing fall hazards involves a three-tier approach.

The first level of defense is to eliminate fall hazards. This is only possible by an accurate assessment of the work environment and the movement of workers in carrying out their duties. Rather than adding safety to the workplace as an afterthought, the idea is to plan a work area without fall hazards. However, it may be impossible to eliminate some of these hazards, and that is where the second level of defense comes in.

This is the prevention level, and by adding protection such as barriers, guardrails and stairs, workers will not be directly exposed to fall hazards. The last of the three-tier plan involves control. By using fall protection such as harnesses and safety nets, falls can be arrested before serious injuries are suffered.

California employees whose employers fail to take action to prevent injuries may find the knowledge that they can receive financial assistance through the workers' compensation system comforting. Victims of workplace injuries may file benefits claims. The insurance program typically settles all medical bills and provides a wage-replacement package for any worker whose injuries are severe enough to cause the victim to miss time from work.

Source: sunnewsreport.com, "Eliminating Slips, Trips, and Falls", Colin Fluxman, Nov. 2, 2017

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