Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Saved from hitting the ground, injured by fall-arrest system.

Working at high heights is a dangerous endeavor. Thankfully, there are a number of safety devices that are designed to help reduce the risk of serious injury or death if an accident were to occur in these environments.

Unfortunately, although these devices reduce the risk of death they can pose problems of their own.

What kinds of injuries can happen due to safety devices? One specific injury for workers to be aware of is referred to as suspension trauma. This type of injury occurs when a worker is working at a height and using a fall-arrest system. These systems provide protection against impacting the ground below in the event of a fall. 

How does suspension trauma occur? Suspension trauma is generally the result of a worker remaining suspended within the fall-arrest system for a period of time.

While in the system, a person’s blood can pool, causing the heart rate to speed up in an attempt to get the blood moving throughout the body. The heart may not be able to maintain proper blood flow, potentially leading to serious injury or death.

How long does it take for this type of fall injury to cause serious problems? A recent piece in Safety and Health Magazine, a publication by the National Safety Council that focuses on occupational safety news, discussed this type of injury. According to the piece, serious injury and even death can occur within 30 minutes.

What if I suffer a fall from a height while on-the-job? This discussion about suspension trauma serves as a reminder that the types of injuries experienced while working are not always obvious.

If you are injured while on-the-job, it is wise to seek medical treatment. You are also likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if this injury prevents you from working or impacts your ability to complete your job in the same manner you were able to prior to the accident.

If you are considering applying for workers’ comp benefits or were recently denied, it is wise to seek counsel from an attorney. A workplace injury attorney can review the details of your accident and guide you through the workers’ comp process, better ensuring a more favorable outcome.

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