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. Ladder accidents are a frequent cause of visits to the emergency room. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the number one cause of injuries in the United States. A fall from a ladder can result in severe injuries and 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
● 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 U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The American Ladder Institute also provides people with necessary ladder safety information. Always inspect a ladder before using it to ensure 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 ALI 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. 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.
Consult an Accident Lawyer in Houston
If you got hurt on a ladder due to the negligence of another, you might need to file a claim or take legal action. Contact our skilled Houston personal injury lawyers at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free initial consultation to discuss your injuries.