According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, more than half a million people are treated for injuries sustained in a ladder accident in the U.S. each year. Of these, about 300 people die from their ladder accident injuries.
If you are injured at work, you may be eligible for workers compensation. But you may be eligible for additional damages if a party outside of your coworker or employer caused your injury. These “third parties” may include landlords, subcontractors and manufacturers. Damages or settlements awarded to those injured in a ladder accident caused by third-party negligence are prevalently much greater than workers compensation.
Through proper safety instruction, work conditions and equipment, a significant amount of ladder accident injuries could be prevented. These measures also happen to be required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Following are additional OSHA rules for safe ladder use:
- Tie ladders down securely when transporting.
- Carry ladders parallel to the ground.
- Barricade the area surrounding the ladder when in use. Barricade, guard or lock doorways in which a ladder is placed.
- Inspect every ladder prior to every use.
- Use a ladder only for the purpose for which it was designed
- Do not use ladders with structural defects. Properly tag with "Do Not Use" and withdraw from service.
- Do not load the ladder beyond the maximum intended load.
- Keep ladders free of oil, grease and other hazards.
- Keep the area around the top and bottom of the ladder clear. Do not move, shift or extend the ladder while in use.
- Never “walk” a ladder.
- Use only non-conductive side rails around live electrical equipment.
- Do not step or stand on the top step or cross bracing.
- Always face the ladder when climbing up or down.
- Two feet and one hand or two hands and a foot should be in contact with the ladder at all times.
- Carry tools in pouches around your waist. Use a rope to raise or lower large items such as materials or toolboxes.
- Keep your belt buckle positioned between the side rails at all times in order to maintain your center of gravity.
- Never allow more than one worker on the ladder at a time.
- Wear protective clothing and rubber-soled shoes.
Ladder accident injuries may result in broken bones, or even spinal cord injury and brain injuries. If you or a loved one was injured in a ladder accident, be sure to consult with an experienced ladder injury lawyer.
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