Ladder fall injuries can occur in several different settings. Construction accidents tend to result in severe injuries since the person has fallen from a significant height.
The impact of the fall can cause severe and permanent job injuries. Exercising due care can help prevent some ladder injuries. Most accidents are not the victim’s fault, and nothing could have prevented the fall.
Whether you were not at fault, or even if you were partially responsible for your ladder accident, you may be entitled to a substantial award for your injury.
The personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have a wealth of experience helping victims injured in scaffolding and ladder accidents.
A Chicago ladder accident lawyer can provide immediate legal advice on recovering damages via workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. Call a construction accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
Federal Regulations on Ladder Safety
The Code of Federal Regulations and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), regulates the use of ladders in the workplace (safety equipment rules) that must be followed. While businesses may not be prosecuted for breaking these rules, they can be fined by the federal government.
If the business has not followed an OSHA rule and a worker is injured, that may be the basis for a civil lawsuit where the worker can receive fair compensation for their injuries.
These rules to prevent scaffolding and ladder accidents include the following:
- The equipment used must be capable of supporting the load
- The equipment must be able to sustain several times the maximum allowable load
- Each step must be capable of supporting at least twenty-five pounds
- The steps must be manufactured to ensure an individual’s foot cannot slide off the rung
- There are minimum distances between the side rails
- Do not use broken or defective equipment
- The equipment shall be used only for the purpose for which it was designed
These are just a handful of the many regulations that OSHA has about workplace safety. There is an entire section in the federal rule book about workplace safety.
OSHA, and the Center for Disease Control, frequently cite employers for job safety violations involving ladders. In 2016, ladder safety was the seventh most cited job safety violation leading to work accidents.
In all, the agency reported over 2,500 violations involving a fall in that year. Areas where OSHA cited employers that involved violations of ladder rules that could cause a work injury include:
- Workers were spotted using the top rung as a step.
- Workers were carrying dangerous loads up a ladder that were at risk of causing them to fall.
- Ladders were used for purposes other than for which they were designed.
- Defective ladders with structural issues.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding or ladder accident, turn to the attorneys at the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. We can help with a possible personal injury claim for financial recovery against the person or entity responsible for your injuries.
Our attorneys will check against the causes of ladder incidents, since they are extremely dangerous, and see which applies to your construction accident. Many ladders and the injuries caused by them, even death, arise when the ladder is not what the manufacturer intended or specifically designed.
For example, the top rung may be off balance, so as you climb up and put one foot or both feet through the damaged ladder, it fails, and you fall.
Where Ladder Accidents and Injuries Occur
Accidents at a construction site are common. Many construction workers often work with ladders. However, other people can get injured working on a ladder or scaffolding, including those working at their home or on a job working in a house or an apartment.
Here are some examples of premises liability or workers’ compensation claims involving ladder accidents:
- Injured workers in a store or a restaurant who were struck by ladders that have tipped
- Injured construction workers can be electrocuted when ladders contact overhead power lines
- Painters who fall when shifting position or as they climb up a ladder
- Defective products lead to a ladder fall, even when the injured worker uses it as designed
Types of Ladder Injuries: Should I Go to ER If I Fell off a Ladder?
Climbing and working at heights can cause severe injury when the person falls to the ground with momentum. When the person’s body hits the ground, whichever part of their body hits the surface is susceptible to a serious and perhaps permanent injury.
Here are some of the common injuries that injured construction workers suffer from ladder accidents:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Paralysis, including quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Fractured bones, especially the arms, legs, foot, or even both feet
- Injury to the neck and back
- Electrocution and electrical burns
- Wrongful death when a worker falls from a high elevation
Statistics About Scaffolding and Ladder Injuries
Climbing and working at heights cause a high rate of workplace harm and death. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) published statistics on occupational safety.
In 2020, nearly 740 workers were killed on construction sites. Of these fatalities, roughly 38 percent of fatal injuries caused by negligence were from falls.
Some relevant statistics on scaffolding and ladder falls include:
- Injuries caused by climbing are rising. In the ten years leading up to 2019, the number of people injured on step and extension ladder accidents has risen by nearly 50%
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that half of all ladder accidents occur when attempting to carry something while climbing
- About a third of injuries caused by ladders on construction sites involve fractures
- Two-thirds of injured workers by falls were not adequately trained in their usage. An employer must train employees who use ladders in the course of their jobs
- Around 20% of construction accident cases involve ladders and defective equipment
- Over 50% of construction accident cases involving ladders are falling accidents that were unsecured or were the wrong size for the job
How to Avoid Ladder-Related Injuries
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) provides guidelines on ladder accident safety, reminding construction workers to never stand on a ladder’s top two rungs. Additionally, the employee should not step on any of the top four rungs of metal, fiberglass, or wooden step ladder.
Construction workers must maintain three points of contact with all types of ladders. For ultimate safety, using a partner to steady a rung and hold the climbing equipment can maximize safety when the worker climbs up and down a ladder.
Serious injuries can arise if a defective ladder breaks, such as a head injury or other serious injury. Common causes of ladder issues arise when exceeding the ladder’s weight capacity, not on firm ground or level ground, incorrect placement, damaged ladder, and more.
How Can I Recover Financial Compensation for Injuries Related to Worn or Damaged Ladders?
To receive compensation for a falling accident, another party must be at fault somehow.
Potential defendants who could be at fault for the ladder accident, include:
- Equipment manufacturers can be liable for your damages in a product liability lawsuit if a defective product is involved in a construction site ladder accident.
- Employers can be held responsible if they do not provide adequate fall protection. An employer can also be responsible if they provide employees with ladders to do a job when they should have given the workers safer and more viable means of reaching heights.
- Employers ordering workers to use climbing equipment unsafely, such as placing it on top of a scaffold, could be held accountable for the victim’s damages.
Consult With a Ladder Accident Lawyer | Third Party Claims | Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Call an experienced attorney for a free consultation to discuss your ladder injury case and begin the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits or a personal injury lawsuit involving a third-party, including subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, and others.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or schedule a free consultation through the website contact form. Our successful track record ensures maximum compensation.
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All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
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Our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have extensive experience representing clients in various practice areas, including vehicle crashes, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, premises liability, product liability, workers’ compensation benefits, and wrongful death.
Set up an attorney-client relationship to discuss your workplace injury, the leading cause or common causes of ladder-related injuries. These may involve incorrect placement, ladders human error operation (i.e., incorrect use), level ground issues, etc.