Falls from ladders are a top cause of injury of people in the United States, and are a common source of injury amongst construction workers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that throughout the country every year, there are more than 500,000 people treated for ladder-related injuries, and more than 300 ladder-related deaths. If you have been injured while on the job, as a result of a fall from a ladder or some other means, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorneyright away. Acting quickly will improve your chances of recovering the damages you deserve.
Top Causes of Ladder Falls
Understanding the top causes of ladder falls is a key part of ladder safety and fall prevention, in and out of the workplace. The same source cited above explains that there are five main causes of ladder fall incidents. These are:
- Improper use of a ladder. Ladders should be used how they are intended. When ladders are intentionally misused or proper use guidelines are not followed, the risk of injury increases dramatically.
- Lack of safety tools and ladder safety information. Did you know that more than ⅔ of construction companies are small, local companies rather than big businesses? Unfortunately, small businesses (and homeowners) don’t always invest in the safety tools and safety training that are necessary to prevent ladder-related fall accidents.
- Using an inappropriate type or size of ladder for a job. There are a lot of different ladder types, and each ladder has a different duty rating. Duty rating refers to the maximum safe load capacity, and is a very important consideration.
- Failing to properly inspect a ladder. Just like other pieces of equipment, ladders need to be regularly maintained and inspected. Regular inspection is an easy way to detect and correct potential hazards.
- Poor ladder set up. The CDC explains that in nearly half of all ladder-related fall injuries, the cause is an incorrect set up angle. Many ladder users set up the ladder so that the base is much narrower than it needs to be for safe use.
Tips for Preventing Ladder-Related Falls in the Workplace
For employers and employees/contractors alike, it is important to know what steps can be taken to reduce the risk of ladder-related falls on the job. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) provides a number of great tips for preventing fall injuries, including:
- Always making sure a ladder has the proper load capacity for the job. If you are an employer, be sure that you provide your employees with the right type of ladder for the job; if more load capacity is needed, do not provide workers with a ladder that has a low duty rating.
- Perform ladder inspections and maintenance. As stated above, ladders break down over time, and require regular inspection and maintenance as such. If a ladder has structural damage, missing rungs, loose screws, or any damage at all, it should not be used.
- Invest in workplace training. Employees should be trained on how to use ladders correctly to reduce the risk of fall and other ladder-related injuries.
- Use ladders smartly. During worker training, talk to employees about dos and don’ts for ladder safety. Employees should be aware that they should never use ladders for any purpose other than that for which the ladder is intended to be used; that objects should not be carried while using a ladder; to always refrain from using metal ladders around electrical equipment; to use proper footwear when using a ladder; and to never leave tools or other objects or equipment on the ladder.
Helping Injured Workers in Kentucky Recover Compensation after a Ladder Fall
Falling from a ladder can have serious consequences. While a minor injury, like a sprained ankle, may only slightly limit your mobility and your ability to work, a more serious injury can be devastating. Internal injuries, back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries happen, and in some cases, ladder fall injuries are fatal.
When a fall from a ladder happens on the job, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Our experienced Kentucky workers’ compensation attorneys can help you understand your right to workers’ compensation benefits, and also bring forth a third party liability claim if appropriate. To schedule your free consultation and start the process of recovering the benefits you deserve, call our law offices today at (502) 384-7400 or send us a message online.