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142 Epidemiology of work-related falls
  1. Christina Socias-Morales1,2,
  2. James Collins1,2,
  3. Cammie Chaumont Menendez1,2
  1. 1US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)\
  2. 2US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)


Statement of Purpose Falls are the second leading cause of work-related injuries in the United States. In 2015, falls represented nearly 17% of all fatal work-related injuries and roughly 27% of all lost work-day nonfatal injuries. The purpose of this analysis is to examine falls across surveillance systems which will inform prevention efforts.

Methods/Approach We examined data from three national occupational injury surveillance systems to describe the burden of fatal and non-fatal work-related fall injuries across demographic, work, and injury characteristics. Falls were categorised into two major event types: falls on the same level (slips or trips), and falls to a lower level (falls from an elevated surface).

Results From 1992 to 2014, the rate of fatal work-related falls has averaged 5.3 fatalities per 1,000,000 workers (annual average range 4.6–6.0) with rates increasing recently to 5.6. Nonfatal, lost work-day injuries have decreased from 49.0 per 10 000 full-time workers in 1992 to 26.4 in 2014. Falls involving hospital emergency department treatment have only modestly (not significantly) decreased from 38.0 (95% CI Â ±3.3) per 10 000 workers in 2003 to 31.1 (95% CI Â ±5.8) in 2014. Falls to a lower level, although less common, accounted for 86% of fatal falls compared to roughly 30% of both nonfatal lost work-day and ED-treated fall injuries.

Conclusions The rate of fall injuries among US-workers remains high despite numerous prevention strategies, standards, policies, and engineering controls to prevent falls and protect against injury during a fall.

Significance/Contributions to Injury and Violence Prevention Science Work-related fall injuries represented over $16 billion in direct costs in 2014 among US-workers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is partnering with several stakeholders to raise awareness, evaluate fall prevention programs, and ultimately reduce work-related fall injuries, especially among workers at highest risk.

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