Workplace Ladder Injuries On The Rise
Workers’ Memorial Day, observed on April 28th every year, recognizes workers who died or suffered from exposures to hazards at work. It is a day to honor those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers.
One of the biggest threats to workers on the job these days are falls, particularly from ladders.
Ladders are simple tools that are used in many occupations and in completing household repairs, yet in even their simplicity, they can cause many injuries. Even though ladders have been used by workers for hundreds of years, there are still many dangers both in how they are used and in how they are made and maintained, in fact, the number of ladder-related injuries in the United States has increased by more than 50 percent from 1990 to 2005, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
According the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls remain a leading cause of unintentional injury mortality nationwide, and 43% of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder.
Many construction workers, electricians, painters, and more experience serious injuries due to a failure to follow safety protocol or improper training.
OSHA requires that every ladder be inspected before it is used. This means every time someone is expected to step onto a ladder, it must be closely checked for flaws. Due to time constraints, companies will often bypass this step and allow workers to use uninspected ladders. This sort of behavior is what leads to severe, life-altering injuries.
Workers who use extension ladders risk permanent injury or death from falls and electrocutions. These hazards can be eliminated or substantially reduced by following good safety practices.
Tips for ladder safety:
Workers shouldn’t overextend themselves on the ladder.
Workers should face inward as they ascend or descend a ladder.
Workers should wear rubber soled shoes to increase grip.
Depending on the job, the worker may also need to wear a harness.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
The high rate of ladder injuries and death only highlight and reinforce the need for workplace safety research to prevent falls from happening. For those who have been hurt from a ladder injury on the job or due to a defective ladder, you may need legal advice to ensure that you receive compensation from those legally responsible either in a form of a lawsuit against the owner of the ladder, a workers compensation case or a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
The team at Carlson Law Firm are experts at both work injury and product liability law and can advise you on what are your best options for the most significant financial recovery.
We care, we can help.
- Written by Jill Fowler