If your profession calls for you to work at height, you’ll always have concerns about an accident in which you fall to the ground below. Should that happen, you could suffer a serious injury, such as broken bones and head trauma, or even death.

Understanding the primary causes of falls from height in the workplace can help you prevent trouble. Here are five top reasons:

  • A messy workspace: For example, if you’re working on a roof, don’t let your tools and old material stack up around you. When this happens, there’s a greater chance of tripping on something and tumbling to the ground.
  • Inclement weather: When weather conditions change, consider the impact it will have on your safety. You can’t hide inside every time the conditions are less than ideal, but in heavy rain or strong winds it’s best to take a break until things clear up.
  • Lack of safety measures: No matter the job you’re doing, there are safety measures you can take to prevent an accident. An example of this is using safety rails when working at height on scaffolding.
  • Working when you’re exhausted: If you’re not feeling your best, such as toward the end of a long work day in the hot sun, don’t take on more than you can handle. When you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to make a mistake.
  • Horseplay: When working at height with other people, there may come a point when you begin to joke around. While it’s okay to converse with one another, as long as you’re still paying attention to the task at hand, physical horseplay at height is dangerous. Even if it appears harmless at first, it can end in disaster.

These are among the most common causes of falls from height in the workplace. If you work off the ground, make sure you take steps to prevent an accident.

If you fall from height, there’s a good chance you’ve suffered a serious injury. Your immediate attention should turn to your health, which includes a trip to the hospital for a diagnosis and treatment. From there, you can report the accident to your supervisor or employer and determine if you’re eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation.