Are you at risk of falling from heights at work? Maybe you work in the construction or roofing industry and you are constantly working at heights. Maybe you have to use catwalks in a warehouse that don’t have proper railings. Perhaps you just work in a big-box store and you have to use ladders or lifts to get items down from the top shelves. A lot of professions come with serious fall risks.
If you do fall, it’s important to consider how the severity may change with distance. According to experts on trauma injuries, 48 feet is the median lethal distance. When people fall from this high — about four stories — roughly half of them will pass away from their injuries. The other half may survive, on average, but they could still have serious injuries.
If you increase the distance to seven stories, falls are almost always fatal. Many people look at roughly 100 feet as the “death zone” or the distance from which you will die. In that sense, they say that a fall from 100 feet is no different than a fall from 3,000 feet. It will be fatal either way.
That said, experts also pointed out that even short falls can still leave you with serious injuries. Even just a 20-foot fall will likely put you in the hospital. But even slipping off of a five-foot ladder could leave you with massive head injuries, depending on how you land and what type of surface you land on.
No matter what type of fall risks you face, it’s important to take them seriously and to look into your legal options when you get injured at work.