Step stools are common in job sites around the country. Consequently, whether you work in an office, manufacturing facility or warehouse, you are probably no stranger to stepping onto one. Still, if you are not careful, you may suffer a potentially catastrophic injury from falling off your stool.
While statistics on step stool falls are scarce, you do not really need to know specific numbers to realize just how dangerous a fall can be. Indeed, according to the World Health Organization, fall-associated accidents are the second-most-common cause of injury-related death around the globe.
Can you reduce your risk?
While you may never be able to eliminate your chances of falling off a step stool, you certainly can reduce your odds of having a life-changing accident at work. To do so, you may want to employ each of the following strategies:
- Check the stool’s weight limit before climbing onto it
- Fully open the step stool before using it
- Place the stool on a solid, dry and non-slip surface
- Allow sufficient clearance on all sides of the stool
Remember, while they are useful, step stools are not appropriate for every job you encounter at work. If you need to reach higher than the stool allows, you should swap your step stool for a step ladder. That is, you should never jump or overextend yourself when working on a step stool.
Can you recover from a fall?
Even if you are cautious when working on a step stool, you eventually may fall and injure yourself. Traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and muscle damage are common in falls from step stools. Your prognosis, of course, depends on the type and extent of your injury. Your overall health also may play a role in your ability to recover fully.
Ultimately, receiving workers’ compensation benefits ensures you can afford to pay for the medical care and rehabilitation you need to recover completely and resume your job duties.