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.