Falling from a stairs In the workplace, it is a major cause of injury and death among US employees, a new study indicates.
"Falls continue to be a major cause of death for injury throughout the country, and 43% of lethal falls in the last decade have had to do with a ladder, "said a team led by Christina Socias, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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In general, "among workers, approximately 20% of injuries due to falls have to do with stairs," they added.
In the study, Socias and her colleagues analyzed US national data for 2011, found that stair falls related to work caused 113 deaths, 15,500 non-lethal injuries that resulted in at least one day when work was missed, and some 34,000 non-lethal injuries that were treated in the emergency departments of hospitals.
Workers with the highest risk of falling ladder injuries include men, older employees, Hispanics, and those in the fields of construction and extraction (such as mining), installation, maintenance, and repair.
"Among construction workers, an estimated 81% of injuries from falls treated in emergency departments in the US had to do with a ladder," the researchers noted in the study published in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
But most of those injuries could have been avoided. Partners and their collaborators urge companies, security experts and health care professionals to work together so that there are trainings for the safe use of stairs for people both at work and outside of it.
The authors also called for research on the prevention of ladder falls at work, which includes developing and distributing new technologies to reduce the risk of stair-related injuries. Meanwhile, they said, a few simple measures in the workplace could prevent falls from ladders, including:
Find ways to complete most of the necessary work on the ground, without the use of stairs; provide workers with alternatives to stairs, such as motorized elevators or scaffolds with support.
As well as ensuring that "stairs are thoroughly inspected", that they have adequate safety accessories, and that they are adequate for the weight, task and location of the worker; provide training and information on the safety of the stairs in the work .