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According to data released by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which utilized the 2007 Hospital EMS/Trauma Registry Data, Falls and Auto Accidents were the top 2 leading causes of injury within the State of Texas. Of the 91,703 injuries reported in 2007, the combination of Falls and Auto Accidents accounted for an amazing 64% (58,833 injuries). Individually, Falls made up 38% (34,418) of all statewide injuries reported.

As Safety Engineers, and Accident Reconstructionists, these statistics are not surprising. In fact, similar statistics and rankings can be found for many other States, as well as the United States in the overall. These are a clear indication of the hazards that face every person on a daily basis.

Fall Prevention

One of the reasons that there is such a large number of injuries associated with falls each year, is because of the incredibly large array of ways in which a person can fall. When a fall does occur, because of the forces involved when a person lands on what is typically a hard surface, and commonly in an awkward manner, there is a high propensity for injuries to result. Examples of common types of fall accident scenarios include (but are not limited to):

  • Slip and Fall (i.e. at a retail store, restaurant, grocery store, bath tub, etc.)
  • Trip and Fall (i.e. wheel stop, uplifted sidewalk, obstruction on the ground, etc.)
  • Fall from height (i.e. fall down stairs, off a roof, from a balcony, etc.)
  • Workplace accidents, particularly as it relates to construction sites (i.e. scaffolds, elevated equipment, loading docks, etc.)

From the standpoint of Safety Engineering, there are many ways in which the likelihood for a fall can be mitigated, through the incorporation of the Hierarchy of Safety, which includes (but is not limited to):

  • Eliminating potential hazards at the time of design, or modifying an existing condition
  • Regular periodic inspection of areas that may contain or develop reasonably foreseeable fall hazards
  • Development and implementation of measures to guard against and mitigate fall risks
  • Proper training of employees to recognize and mitigate potential risks
  • Use of proper warnings in the area of hazards

WEXCO's staff of highly trained and experienced safety professionals have been retained by numerous entities to assist in the evaluation of a property or work site to ensure that all relevant Accessibility (ADA), Building Code and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) requirements are being met. WEXCO's staff has also been retained as a Safety Consultant to assist in the development and implementation of proper safety procedures for a workplace or construction site.

After an incident occurs, WEXCO is commonly retained as a Consultant to evaluate the safety of a premises or construction site, relative to ensuring that all relevant Codes, Regulations, and Standards are being met. Additionally WEXCO is well qualified to serve as an Expert Witness relative to our analysis of the site safety and reconstruction of the subject fall incident. WEXCO has over 20 years experience successfully serving the legal industry. Our highly trained staff have investigated over 10,000 cases, delivered over 2,000 depositions and provided testimony in over 600 trials.

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Dr. Stephen C. Wexler: 40 years experience in construction, construction management, safety and related. Unusual combination of safety engineering and construction and civil engineering permits separate areas within construction, safety, and premises liability. 6 years Instructor at UCLA Evening Extension in Engineering & Construction Management, and 4 years US Navy Seabees Instructor for Construction Management - Port Hueneme, CA and Gulfport, Mississippi.

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