Gilman Law LLP’s Florida Workplace Injury Lawyers, Ladder Accident Attorneys are Here to Help You
Work Injury: Ladder Accidents | Scaffolding Accidents | Window Washing Accidents
Ladder accidents are one of the most common causes of job site injuries. These injuries are often needless, and can be prevented by following basic safety and training guidelines. Unfortunately, many job sites ignore these standards, putting workers at risk. The ladder accident lawyers at Gilman Law LLP in Florida are committed to making sure that the negligent employers responsible for these incidents are held accountable for their workers’ injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a work-place ladder accident in Florida, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But others, including a ladder manufacturer, may also be liable for your injuries. The Florida ladder accident lawyers at Gilman Law LLP will thoroughly investigate your accident to make sure you receive all of the compensation the law allows.
Ladder Accident causes
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, elevated fall accidents accounted for 645 deaths on the job in 2009. Falls from a ladder accounted for twenty percent of total occupational fatal work injuries that year. In all, 4,551 persons fell to their death in elevated falls in 2009.
Some people believe that ladder falls are always the fault of the victim. However, research by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has concluded that 100% of ladder accidents might be eliminated with proper attention to the application of equipment, and the proper training of climbers. While human failure causes most ladder falls, the error is often the fault of employers, not the victim.
A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health classifies ladder falls into one of three broad categories:
- Florida accidents in which the wrong ladder was used to do a job.
- Florida accidents in which the ladder failed due to the physical condition of the ladder or the condition of its supporting surface.
- Florida accidents in which the ladder was improperly used.
A ladder can slide, tip, slip, or break. It can also catapult a climber. Climbers are frequently hit by passing carts, cars and even trains. Ladders propped on top of another object to gain height or convenience often move. If the floor surface or the upper surface are slippery, the ladder may slide away from the climber. A weak leg can compress then act as a spring to catapult the climber.
In half the ladder accidents investigated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the worker carried materials in his hands as he climbed. This practice contributes to slips. Materials should be raised to the work station on a tether. In many accidents, either the ladder or worker slipped. A ladder should always have four point contact with the working surface, and pressure on each leg should be proportional. There are also accidents in which the ladder is not the right tool for the job, and where it cannot be safely used without personal protective equipment.
Ladder Safety Standards
Employers have a legal duty to inspect the site where employees will work, and they must insure that ladders and other equipment are in good working order and appropriate for the job. OSHA requires that a competent person inspect ladders for visible defects prior to every use and after any incident that could affect their safe use.
This “competent person” should also be trained in the use of personal protective equipment, including the selection of anchor points and application of personal restraint systems. If this person doesn’t repair equipment himself, he should supervise a competent carpenter. This person should also know how to detect hidden ladder defects.
OSHA guidelines prohibit the use of ladders with structural defects. Such ladders must be properly tagged “Do Not Use” and withdrawn from service. Ladders should be carried parallel to the ground, and tied down securely when transporting. Ladders must be kept free of oil, grease and other hazards, and should never be made to hold beyond their maximum intended load. A ladder should be used only for the purpose for which it was designed, according to the manufacturer’s labeling and recommendations. A ladder should use only non-conductive side rails around live electrical equipment.
Employers should barricade traffic areas in the vicinity of ladder use. Doorways in which a ladder is placed should also be barricaded or guarded. The area around the top and bottom of ladder clear should be kept clear. OSHA requires that employees be instructed to not move, shift or extend a ladder while it is occupied, and they should never “walk a ladder”.
Workers should not use the top or top step of a ladder for standing/stepping, and they should not stand on cross bracing. Employees should be trained to face the ladder when ascending or descending. The must know to always maintain three points of contact with the ladder (two feet/one hand or two hands/one foot should be in contact with ladder at all times).
Workers should carry tools in pouches around their waist and use a rope to raise or lower large items such as tool boxes or materials. Employees should be trained not to overextend sideways while on a ladder. They should also be required to wear protective clothing and rubber-soled shoes. Finally, more than one worker should never be allowed on a ladder at the same time.
Legal Help for Victims of Florida Ladder Accidents
Our Florida ladder accident lawyers have helped hundreds of victims and their families recover from these tragedies. If you have been injured in a ladder accident, we will work hard to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Florida ladder accident, you have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form, or call TOLL FREE at (888) 252-0048 to discuss your case with one of the experienced Florida ladder accident lawyers at our firm.