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Last Update: 02/01/16

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), each year in the United States on the job worker occupational injuries and illnesses cost at least $250 billion. On the job injuries cost Americans more than the total costs of cancer (all kinds of cancer) as well as the total cost of diabetes treatment or the expense of care and rehabilitation from strokes.

OSHA has recently released its statistical studies for the various kinds of on the job worker injuries in the United States, and in 2012, sprains, strains, and tears were the leading nature of injury and illness. These sprains, strains, and tears totaled 38% percent of the total injury and illness cases where workers had to stay home from work because of personal injury.

Of these 443,560 sprain, strain, and tear cases reported in 2012, 63 percent were the result of overexertion and bodily reaction and 23% were the result of slip and falls or trip and falls while working on the job. These were not minor falling injuries: over a third of these injuries involved workers who suffered spinal injuries or injuries to their back in a slip and fall or trip and fall.

OSHA Findings Released for U.S. On the Job Work Injuries in 2013

Among the key findings from the annual statistical study, released last week:

1. Different jobs carry different risks of injury. There were 4 kinds of work that increased in the number of on the job work injuries in 2012:

  • computer and mathematical occupations;
  • community and social service occupations;
  • personal care and service occupations; and
  • transportation and material moving occupations.

2. Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) cases (388,060) accounted for 34 percent of all injury and illness cases in 2012. Laborer and freight, stock, and material movers had the highest number of MSD cases.

3. The average number of days workers had to take off work because of being hurt on the job was 8 days (the same number that has been reported for the past 5 years).

4. Older workers (65 and older) had the lowest on the job work injury incidence rate in 2012 with 89 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. These older workers needed the longest amount of time getting back on the job after the injury, averaging 14 days off the job.

5. Men accounted for 61 percent (702,250 cases) of all injuries and illnesses and needed more time off work than women who were injured in 2012, with men taking off an average of 10 days while women were back on the job after 7 days off work because of injury.

Employers Are Legally Required to Protect Workers From Falls and Falling Injuries on the Job

Federal law requires that workers be protected from hazards and harm while working on the job. Rules and regulations are in place that make employers spend time and money to protect employees from things like falling off:

  • overhead platforms
  • ladders
  • scaffolds
  • elevated work stations.

OSHA regulations specifically require things like protection for workers when they are required to work at certain heights (5 feet in shipyards and 6 feet in construction). These protections include railings and guard rails.  Workers may be issued equipment for their safety like harnesses and belts. Additionally, employers must monitor working conditions:  dangers like slippery roads or ramps due to rain must be addressed for worker safety.  They must also, by law, educate their work force on safety issues on a regular basis.


According to OSHA,  in 2013 the Number One Cited Violation given to Employers by OSHA was for failure to provide employees proper fall protection while working on the job.

For those injured in an on the job work injury involving a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, South Florida personal injury lawyers are available to help them in making sure that they get proper coverage from state workers’ compensation coverage programs as well as any personal injury civil claims that may be available based upon products liability or premises liability laws and statutes.

What Should You Do?

A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in a slip and fall, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.



Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.



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