Falls Through Unguarded Openings

An unprotected opening at a job site is an accident waiting to happen. A fall to a lower level can result in a serious injury. It could leave you unable to work and support your family. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could be out of work for weeks or months—perhaps longer.

The Florida workers’ compensation program is meant to cover medical expenses and lost income during such times. Without the aid of an attorney, however, you could face unnecessary complications and delays in getting benefits.

To get the help you need for your workers’ compensation claim, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A. We can provide you with a free consultation and get you on the right track.

How Common are Falls Through Unguarded Openings?

Despite numerous Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, workplace fatalities and injuries occur due to openings that are either unguarded or insufficiently guarded. In fact, fall protection violations are the most frequently cited OSHA violation.

According to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, falls to a lower level rank fourth on a list of the top 10 causes of disabling work injuries. Each year, approximately 300,000 workers are injured by workplace falls.

What Types of Unprotected Openings Do Workers Fall Through?

Workers typically fall through one of the following openings:

  • Open excavations
  • Pier holes
  • Skylights, windows and other roof openings
  • Floor openings.

Who Is At Risk of Falling Through an Unguarded Opening?

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. However, injury-producing falls can occur in a variety of other occupations. According to the BLS, the greatest incidences of falls to a lower level are in the following industries:

  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Natural resources and mining
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation
  • Public utilities.

What Types of Injuries Do Workers Who Fall Through Unguarded Openings Suffer?

According to the BLS, the most commonly suffered injuries from falls are:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Tears
  • Fractures
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Soreness and pain.

How Can a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help With Your Fall Injury?

Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system. This means that you do not have to demonstrate that the opening you fell through was insufficiently guarded or other workplace negligence. Still, complications may arise with your claim.

In some cases, you may be able to file suit against someone whose negligence caused your fall through an unguarded opening. You can bring these “third party” claims against a party that is neither your employer nor a co-worker.

Frank M. Eidson has extensive experience with workplace injury claims, and serves residents of Orlando, Winter Park and other central Florida communities. He understands the Florida workers’ compensation system and how to make it work for his clients.

To speak with him today about your case, contact us by phone or online. We will provide a free consultation.

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