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The danger of falls from various heights

In your job, you frequently have to work at heights. You work in construction. Some days, it's just a six-foot ladder in the shop. Other days, you're 50 feet up, working on a roof. It all depends on the job.

While you do use fall protection equipment, you still find yourself wondering what would happen if you fell. How badly would you get hurt?

Experts note that it's hard to predict, as a lot of factors go into it. Generally speaking, though, they say that anything over 48 feet has a 50% chance of being fatal. Once you get higher than seven standard stories, the fall is almost guaranteed to be fatal, killing 90% of those who experience it.

From shorter heights, you can still suffer massive injuries. Most people who fall from 20 feet or more end up in the emergency room. One doctor said that those who fell from 30 feet or more often have lung injuries, liver injuries, spleen injuries and rib fractures.

That does not mean short falls are safe. It all depends on things like how you land and what physical shape you're in. At 10 feet, you could still break your spine. You could still suffer a serious head injury. Even a fall off of that short six-foot ladder could leave you with life-changing injuries if you're unlucky.

It's not fun to think about these serious workplace accidents, but you do need to know what the risks look like. You also need to know what options you have to seek workers' compensation if you do get hurt on the job.

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