Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Of those employed in the construction industry, most are familiar with the “fatal four” causes of construction worker fatalities, which include falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and getting caught or crushed in a collapsing structure or piece of equipment. While falls from scaffolding are particularly dangerous due to their height, falls from ladders can be extremely dangerous as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20 percent of fall injuries involve falls from ladders.
Many of these injuries can be prevented if employers and workers are aware of the serious nature of these falls and take the appropriate safety precautions to avoid such workplace accidents. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that ladder accidents generally fall into three categories, including:
- Accidents caused by the use of an incorrect ladder
- Accidents caused by the use of a ladder that was in poor condition
- Accidents caused by the improper use of a ladder
A study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed 1,400 ladder accidents. The results, which supported the NIOSH classifications, included the following:
- Fifty-seven percent of the victims were holding something in one or both of their hands while using the ladder.
- Thirty percent of the victims were wearing shoes that were either wet, greasy, or oily.
- Fifty-three percent of the ladders had not been properly secured at the base of the ladder and 61 percent had not been secured at the top of the ladder.
- Sixty-six percent of the victims had not been properly trained on how to check the ladders for defects prior to use.
- Seventy-three percent of victims had not been given verbal or written instructions on how to safely use a ladder.
A number of organizations, including OSHA, are promoting a national campaign called the National Stand-Down, which raises awareness of the hazards of workplace falls. Employers are responsible for making sure that their workers understand how to safely use a ladder and what to do to prevent serious falls. Workers are less likely to become seriously injured or killed if they take the right preventative measures before climbing a ladder.
Ladder Safety Tips
When using a ladder, it is important to always make safety a priority. To prevent serious, life-threatening injuries, consider the following safety tips whenever you are operating a ladder:
- Keep one hand on the side rail of the ladder at all times.
- Keep your body positioned so it is centered on the ladder so that the ladder’s balance is not affected.
- Keep your body straight and positioned as close to the ladder as possible.
- Move slowly and carefully when climbing or descending a ladder.
- Do not lean too far in either direction when you are on a ladder as this can cause serious accidents if the ladder falls.
- Do not reach for something that is too far overhead. If necessary, use a taller ladder rather than reaching.
- Never try to reposition a ladder while you are standing on it. Get off the ladder and move it to your desired location.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Ladder Accidents
Ladder accidents can cause serious injuries including head injuries, broken bones, lacerations, internal injuries, and even death. If you have been seriously injured in a ladder accident while on the job, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits through our employer. The Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will fight for the maximum benefits that you deserve based on the severity of your injury. Our dedicated and compassionate team will guide you through the Workers’ Compensation process, ensuring that your rights are protected along the way. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.