FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Oct. 22, 2018) - It may come as a surprise that the third-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falls. In 2015, nearly 33,381 people died in falls at home and at work; and for working adults, depending on the industry, falls can be the leading cause of death.Hazards in the workplaceIn 2014, 660 workers died in falls from a higher level, and 49,210 were injured badly enough to require days off of work. A worker doesn't have fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries. While half of all fatal falls in 2014 occurred from 20 feet or lower, 12 percent were from less than 6 feet, according to the National Safety Council's Injury Facts 2017, the go-to source for injury and death statistics and their related cost to the workplace.Construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls from height - more than seven times the rate of other industries. But falls can happen anywhere, even at a desk job. National Safety Council data for 2014 includes falls from height and falls on the same level, by industry:• Construction: 22,330 injuries, 359 deaths• Manufacturing: 23,290 injuries, 49 deaths• Wholesale trade: 14,360 injuries, 30 deaths• Retail trade: 29,530 injuries, 34 deaths• Transportation and Warehousing: 23,780 injuries, 43 deaths• Professional and business services: 23,140 injuries, 94 deaths• Education and health services: 51,150 injuries, 21 deaths• Government: 69,530 injuries, 41 deathsFalls are 100 percent preventableWhether working from a ladder, roof or scaffolding, it's important to plan ahead, assess the risk and use the right equipment. First, determine if working from a height is absolutely necessary or if there is another way to do the task safely.• Discuss the task with co-workers and determine what safety equipment is needed.• Make sure you are properly trained on how to use the equipment.• Scan the work area for potential hazards before starting the job.• Make sure you have level ground to set up the equipment.• If working outside, check the weather forecast; never work in inclement weather.• Use the correct tool for the job and use it as intended.• Ensure stepladders have a locking device to hold the front and back open.• Always keep two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand, on the ladder.• Place the ladder on a solid surface and never lean it against an unstable surface.• A straight or extension ladder should be 1 foot away from the surface it rests on for every 4 feet of height and extend at least 3 feet over the top edge.• Securely fasten straight and extension ladders to an upper support.• Wear slip-resistant shoes and don't stand higher than the third rung from the top.• Don't lean or reach while on a ladder and have someone support the bottom.• Never use old or damaged equipment; check thoroughly before use.Millions of people are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every year. A fall can end in death or disability in a split second, but with a few simple precautions, you'll be sure stay safe at work.