In the construction industry, one of the biggest dangers workers face is taking a fall from a ladder. It could be as simple as slipping off of a six-foot ladder while putting in some overhead wiring or as significant as falling from a 30-foot extension ladder while climbing onto a roof. Any fall, from any height, can cause serious injuries and even death.
One way to avoid a ladder fall is to understand the specific issues that cause them in the first place. You will then know what red flags to watch out for and what activities to avoid. Some of the causes, per Safety and Health Magazine, include:
- Workers trying to ascend ladders while carrying loads, objects, tools, materials or anything else.
- Workers using ladders that have clear structural defects.
- Workers standing on the top step or the top rung of a ladder.
- Workers using a ladder for a purpose that it was never designed to serve.
You also have to be careful about ladders that may have been set up by other workers. It may look safe, but if you did not set it up yourself, do you trust that it's at the right angle? Is the foundation that the ladder sits on stable and clear? Did the other worker check the ladder for defects and damage? Did they have any experiencing setting up that ladder or is this the first time?
Even understanding these risks does not mean that accidents won't happen. Falls can be incredibly serious, and they happen all the time in this industry. Those who suffer injuries need to know what options they have to seek restitution for any injuries and damages they suffer.