Ladders may seem fairly simple to use. After all, all you have to do is climb up the rungs until you reach your desired height. However, ladder use is more complicated than you may think. It’s also very dangerous, resulting in 90,000 emergency room visits and killing 700 employees every year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) believes that all of these injuries and deaths could be prevented.
As personal injury lawyers for nearly 30 years, our attorneys have reviewed countless ladder accident claims over the years. Sometimes, the accidents occur at the workplace and other times they occur at home. Depending on the facts, the injured party will most commonly have a worker’s compensation claim, a personal injury claim and/or a product liability claim.
The bad news is that ladder-related accidents are on the rise. In fact, they have increased by 50 percent over the past 10 years.
Half of all ladder accidents involve someone carrying an item as they climbed up the ladder. The most common injury caused by ladder accidents is fractures, accounting for 32 percent of all injuries. Even though ladder accidents are common, they can be prevented by understanding the causes and things you can do to prevent them.
Common Causes Of Ladder Accidents
There are four main causes of ladder accidents:
- Using damaged ladders. Ladders have a life span, just like most other items. If you use a ladder virtually every day for a couple years, it’s going to get worn out. The ladder can start to break and the rungs can get loose. Prevent injuries by inspecting ladders before use.
- Selecting the wrong ladder. There are many types of ladders. Some are longer than others, while others are sturdier. It’s important that you choose the right ladder for the job. If you are a heavier person, you want a ladder that will support your weight. If you need to climb onto a tall roof, you’ll need a ladder that is tall enough. If you choose a ladder that’s too short, you risk injuring yourself to get as high as possible.
- Using ladders incorrectly. Use a ladder only as intended. Do not stand it on something to make it taller. Do not try to reach for something while on one, as you could fall off.
- Incorrect placement. A ladder needs to be on firm, level ground. They should not be placed near doors. You should have someone with you to keep the base steady.
How To Prevent Ladder Accidents
You can prevent accidents by doing the following:
- Keep one hand on a side of the ladder at all times.
- Keep your body centered and straight.
- Move slowly and carefully.
- Don’t lean or reach too far in any direction.
- Get off the ladder before moving it.
If you have been injured through no fault of your own while using a ladder, contact Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers now for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call us at 1-800-718-4658.