Some Valuable Information You Need about Ladder Accidents
It’s a given that there are some inherent risks with using ladders. However, some ladder accidents are incomprehensible. Although a number of incidents may occur at construction sites, others involve simple home projects. The question is often whether the ladder was used properly. Notwithstanding, some ladder accident claims may represent manufacturing defects.
The United State Consumer Products Safety Commission offers some staggering statistics when it comes to ladder accidents. At least 165,000 people seek some sort of medical treatment after an incident involving a ladder. Sadly, a certain percentage of the injuries will be fatal. Many will include broken bones or head injuries.
What You Should Know About Ladders and Accidents
Ladder accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. However, they are generally broken down into these four main categories:
- Improper selection of a ladder: Most ladders contain posted safety information. This often includes maximum weight limits. If a ladder says it can only hold 200 pounds, a 300 pound individual should select a heavier duty ladder.
- Sloppy use of the ladder: Was the ladder opened properly? Did the user climb to close to the top of the ladder? Was the ladder free of debris? Was safety gear utilized? Was the ladder placed by live electricity? Was the user wearing proper footwear?
- Incorrect ladder use: Ladders are meant to be placed on a flat surface. Erecting them on something else to increase height may cause accidents. A ladder placed in front of a door represents an additional hazard.
- Poor Maintenance or Design: Some ladder accidents occur because the equipment was not maintained properly and was damaged. Others occur because of faulty design.
Those who are hurt at work in ladder accidents are most likely due workers’ compensation benefits. However, an investigation may reveal a different type of claim as well. Let’s look at an example.
Kevin Saunders works for ABC Company as an electrician. His employer’s company is joined by other contractors at the job site. Kevin realizes that his ladder does not reach the ceiling where he needs to do some work. He secures the permission of a painting contractor to use his ladder. Unfortunately, Kevin isn’t informed that there are issues with the ladder. He subsequently falls when one of the rungs gives way.
The ten foot fall from the ladder sends Kevin to the emergency room. He learns that he has fractured his right arm. A claim is submitted to the workers’ compensation carrier and Kevin’s medical bills and lost wages are covered.
Since Kevin’s ladder was not supplied by his own employer, there may be a claim against the painting contractor for failure to maintain the ladder. This would require an investigation.
If you have been injured in a ladder accident, you should do your best to take pictures of the ladder and any identification stickers. Also, try to take photographs of the accident site and names of any eyewitnesses. The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo has handled these types of cases for many years. We will investigate and secure expert opinions if necessary. Contact us to discuss your claim.