Pennsylvania residents may be surprised to learn that falls are the third leading cause of accidental injury-related deaths. More than 36,000 Americans died in falls either at work or in their homes in 2016.

The same year, 697 workers lost their lives in slip-and-fall accidents that caused them to land at a lower level. More than 48,000 workers also lost work time due to this type of accident. However, the fact that 134 workers died from falls that ended on the same level at a worksite serves as evidence that workers do not have to fall from great heights for their lives to be at risk.

Construction workers face more risk of dying from falls than most other occupations, but these fatalities can occur to workers of any job. Even individuals who work desk jobs have faced serious injuries and death from trips and falls. Transportation, warehousing and manufacturing are other industries in which workers face elevated dangers from falls.

Falls that result in death or serious injuries at home often involve do-it-yourself work by a homeowner or family member. It may be best to leave jobs that pose a risk for falls like installing gutters, roofs and sidings to the professionals.

The good news is that the risk of suffering a fall is preventable. This fact is true both in the home as well as the workplace. Clearing the work area of hazards, using equipment only as intended and following ladder safety rules are a few of the tips that will minimize the risk of injury from falls.

The injuries resulting from an accidental fall represent a life-changing event that can happen in the blink of an eye. Individuals injured in a slip-and-fall accident may be able to secure compensation for their injuries by consulting with an experienced attorney.