Spinal cord injuries change lives. People may never fully recover. It's more than just long-term back pain. They may lose motor function entirely. They could face short-term or long-term paralysis. Even with prompt medical treatment, severe injuries may never heal.
Preventing all on-the-job injuries is impossible, but it can help to understand who faces the greatest risks and how these accidents happen. Let's break it down a bit below:
Statistics indicate that people between 16 years old 30 years old suffer the most spinal cord injuries. These traumatic events, therefore, threaten relatively young workers more than middle-aged workers.
The risks also increase, studies show, for those who are 65 years old and older. However, by this time, many are no longer in the workforce. Those who do keep working past traditional retirement ages, though, need to understand that they could also face elevated risks.
Second, it's important to note that an excess of 15% of these serious injuries happen after falls. That's for all age groups. For older individuals, falls are the leading cause. But even younger people need to understand the risks.
For instance, a worker who climbs a defective ladder could slip and fall from the top. Even a fall of just six to 10 feet could result in a significant spinal cord injury. Those facing some of the greatest risks include roofers and construction workers. They use ladders and scaffold systems frequently and often face exposure to dangerous conditions.
Though we often think of car accidents in the context of personal car crashes, the reality is that many workers also face these risks on the job. You do not have to be a professional driver. House painters have to transport workers and crew members to the job site, for instance. In many professions, driving is a daily activity.
With that in mind, you should know that nothing causes more annual spinal cord injuries than motor vehicle accidents. They are responsible for roughly 50 percent of these yearly injuries.
Finally, male workers face greater risks than female workers. Statistically speaking, roughly 20% of traumatic spinal cord injuries impact women, at least in the United States. The other 80% impact men.
So, who faces the highest risks? The answer is a young male worker in a profession where he has to work at heights and could get involved in an accidental fall.
Whether you fit that profile or not, you have to know your legal rights after an on-the-job spinal cord injury. The costs at the beginning can appear astronomical, and then you may have to factor in loss of income, life-long care costs in Denver and much more. Make sure you know how to get started.