Falls are the most common cause of fatal injuries at construction sites, and the use of ladders may be associated with such accidents. Using the correct ladder appropriate for a particular job, and having safe work habits, can prevent these occurrences and save lives. All employers should not only train their employees in how to properly use a ladder, but also carefully monitor ladder use at the construction site.
Here are three tips that will help you avoid being in a ladder-related construction accident:
- Choose the right ladder or mechanical lift for the job. Ladders are not always the best equipment for what you are attempting to do. A mechanical lift or scaffolding may often be better suited for projects in which one needs to be elevated off the ground. If you are going to use a ladder, make sure it is the proper height to set at a stable angle and still extend appropriately above the top of what it is resting on. You should also make sure that the ladder is in proper working order and that it is not cracked or missing pieces.
- Do not carry materials when climbing the ladder. Some accidents occur when climbing up or descending a ladder. Instead of climbing the ladder while carrying tools and materials, climb safely first and then, if safe to do so, ask someone to assist you in providing you what you need. Otherwise, you could wear a tool belt or use a pulley system as long as neither prevent the proper use of the ladder. Climbing a ladder without having full use of both hands is not safe.
- Secure the ladder to fixed points. When using certain ladders, the top and bottom should be tied or otherwise affixed to stable points. This will help prevent the ladder from sliding side-to-side or falling backwards.
There are many mechanisms which can result in a ladder related fall. Many ladder accidents occur when the ladder moves because it is not properly secured. It is also possible to sustain an injury if the ladder breaks or otherwise malfunctions, if an object strikes the victim, or, if the surface that the ladder is resting on moves.
Ladder accidents can lead to serious injuries, including bone fractures, soft tissue injuries, concussions, lacerations, internal organ trauma and head injuries.
If injured while at work, victims of ladder accidents can pursue compensation for their losses by filing for New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits, and possibly by filing third party claims if warranted. An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer can help injured people, including workers and their families, with their potential claim and help protect their rights during the process. Please contact the experienced attorneys at Blume Forte to discuss your potential claim. Call (973) 635-5400.