Falls from Ladders Are Among the Most Frequent Causes of Construction Injuries and Deaths
Seasoned Kentucky lawyers helping injury victims who fell at a construction site
According to a report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day. The rate of fatal deaths in the construction industry is higher than the national average fatality rate for all industries, and falls regularly account for the construction industry’s greatest number of fatalities. OSHA also estimates that there are 24,882 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders used in construction. Nearly half of these injuries are serious enough to require time off the job. A number of factors are involved in falls, including unstable working surfaces, misuse or failure to use fall protection equipment, and human error.
The Kentucky construction accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law are thoroughly familiar with the construction industry and the hazards associated with it. If you are injured in a fall from a construction site ladder, trust us to aggressively protect your interests and your family’s.
Causes of construction ladder accidents
Among the causes of construction ladder accidents that have been investigated by OSHA are:
- Failure to use the correct ladder for the task
- Structural defects, such as damaged side rails, broken or missing rungs or steps, and missing or damaged safety devices
- Grease or other contaminants on ladder steps
- Using ladders that are not long enough to safely reach the work area
- Failure to timely remove and repair, or dispose of, defective ladders
- Overloading ladders beyond the manufacturer’s rated capacity
- Failure to count a worker’s materials and tools in the load applied to a ladder
- Using ladders with metallic components near electrical work and overhead power lines
A ladder must not only be properly secured; the clamps that lock the sections of extension ladders together can fail, causing it to close suddenly, crush the person on it, or cause them to fall. The rope used to raise and lower the extension may break, causing the person pulling on it to lose balance.
A very tall, unsecured stepladder is vulnerable to falling sideways if the person climbing it loses balance or shifts position suddenly.
What kinds of injuries are associated with falls at construction sites?
Typical injuries are those associated with blunt force trauma:
- Multiple fractures
- Spine and spinal cord injury
- Skull fracture and brain damage
- Internal injuries, such as a torn spleen, or one or more internal organs punctured by fragments of broken bone
- Severe laceration
The type and extent of injury depends on the height from which a fall takes place and the nature of the surface on which the faller lands. There may also be contact during the fall with protruding lumber or reinforcing rods (“rebars”), which can cause tearing, impalement, amputation, or death. The ground at construction sites is usually filled with tools and equipment and littered with debris such as boards, nails, pieces of reinforcing bar, and wire mesh, all of which can cause serious or fatal injury when impacted by a falling body. Workers below are at risk of being struck by the ladder, the faller, or both.
How we can help
Much depends on whether a victim was an employee of the construction company, or was onsite in some other capacity — perhaps as an equipment technician, independent subcontractor, or inspector. If there was negligence involved as the cause of the accident, then the non-employee victim, while eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from their own employer, may also sue for negligence. An experienced Kentucky construction accident lawyer can advise a client whether to bring negligence actions against the construction company that owns the ladder, or the equipment rental company that leased it to them, or to bring a product liability action against the ladder’s manufacturer, as the facts of the accident indicate.
Kentucky lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law advocate for non-employees injured in construction ladder accidents
Construction ladders cause serious injuries, permanent disabilities, and deaths every year. The attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law have a long record of success protecting the interests of non-employee workers and other business visitors injured by defective or negligently maintained ladders at construction sites. If you have been injured, or a loved one injured or killed, let us help. Please call us at 877-686-8879, or fill out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Kentucky construction accident attorney. We have offices conveniently located in Lexington and Louisville.