Many workers who use ladders every day quickly stop thinking about the potential risks. They get comfortable.
This doesn’t mean an accident won’t happen. In fact, feeling overconfident could actually make it more likely. To keep things in perspective, here are some important facts about ladder-related injuries.
- No country in the world has as many ladder deaths as the United States. For all of the safety regulations on the books, around 300 people lose their lives every year.
- Far more wind up in the emergency room with survivable injuries. The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 164,000 ER trips annually.
- Falls are often short, with the majority coming at under 10 feet. People often worry on a 30-foot ladder and think they’re safe on an 8-foot ladder, but the danger is still there.
- In the construction industry, where falls lead to most fatal injuries, the majority of them happen on ladders.
- The issues are just getting worse. In recent years, the amount of deadly ladder falls has tripled.
There are many reasons for a fall. A worker may be instructed to use the ladder in an improper and unsafe fashion. The ladder itself may be defective or faulty. Other workers could be negligent and create an unsafe workplace that inadvertently leads to an accident.
If you’re injured in a fall at work, it’s crucial that you understand your potential rights to workers’ compensation. Injuries can be very serious, especially when they impact the spinal cord or the brain, and you could be looking at costs that include very high medical bills, lost future wages and much more.
Source: NACHI, “Ladder Safety,” Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard, accessed Nov. 22, 2017