People climb up on ladders regularly, and they are a necessity for many jobs. The use of ladders can be dangerous, especially in situations where the necessary safety precautions are not followed. Falls from ladders account for up to two fatalities and 220 injuries each year. The total number of non-reportable injuries is higher again.
Most ladder injuries result from falls but other injuries are caused by lifting a ladder, slipping or falling when carrying it, or the ladder collapsing or falling. Any of these type of accidents can result in severe injuries, some of which may even be life-threatening.
What Causes Ladder Accidents?
Falls from ladders occur quickly, and they can cause a person to hit the ground with some force. Some factors cause or contribute to ladder accidents, such as making sudden movements, using damaged ladders, slipping due to improper footwear, and lack of attention. Failure to use the proper ladder for the job can cause an accident. Climbing too high on a ladder can cause imbalance, and the ladder may topple. Setting up a ladder on an uneven surface can result in an unsafe situation. Many construction accidents involve ladders.
Injuries Caused by Ladder Accidents
A fall from a ladder can cause painful injuries that often require medical attention. You may miss work during the recovery process. Some of the most common injuries due to a ladder fall include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Puncture wounds
- Head and brain injuries
- Torn ligaments
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back, knee, and ankle injuries
Some injuries may be severe and could result in a disability that requires ongoing care. It is best to seek medical attention immediately following a fall from a ladder, especially if you hit your head or lose consciousness for any time.
Employers must follow the safety rules and guidelines set forth by the Health and Safety Authority. Every time you use a ladder your employer must comply with the Work at Height Regulations. Always inspect a ladder before you use it to make sure it is in good working condition. Choose a ladder with a duty rating that meets your needs. Pick a ladder that is the correct height for the job. Do not stand on the top rung or step. Only one person at a time should be on a ladder. Do not use ladders in windy or stormy conditions.
The HSA recommends utilizing the three point-of-contact methods when you climb a ladder. This method requires you to always keep three out of your four extremities on the ladder at all times. For example, you can have both feet and a hand on the ladder or two hands and a foot on the ladder when you are using the steps. Never try to move a ladder when you are standing on it. Employers should train employees on the safe use of ladders and should inspect and maintain ladders and other equipment.
Contact an Accident Lawyer for More Information
If you have suffered injury as a result of a fall or use of a ladder you may be entitled to claim for your injuries. It all starts with a conversation. So call us for a confidential chat on 1890 252467 or tell us what happened so that we can best advise and guide you.