Worksites that require handling and climbing ladders can be especially dangerous. Ladders are not only dangerous to persons using them, they are dangerous to other people standing near them. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that more than half a million people are treated for injuries from ladder accidents in the U.S. each year. Ladder accidents can cause serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and severely fractured bones.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assures the safety and healthy working conditions for working men and women by writing policies and enforcing standards to provide training, education, assistance and outreach. Following the OSHA laws and regulations can significantly reduce the number and severity of ladder accidents. Special OSHA laws and regulations have been issued in order to protect workers who are required to work at heights. These laws require that specific types of ladders or scaffolds be used for different jobs and also require the appropriate assembly and placement. For example, using an A frame ladder may be allowed for one job, but only an extension ladder can be used for another. The laws and regulations also control the size of the ladder and safety equipment that is required for different jobs. A building owner or general contractor can be held accountable for failing to provide the appropriate ladders and required safety equipment.
The following are some of the OSHA laws and regulations for safe ladder use:
- When transporting, make sure they are tied down securely.
- Wear rubber gripped shoes when climbing a ladder.
- Never let more than one worker on a ladder at a time.
- Don’t try to climb a ladder with large or heavy materials; use a rope to pull them up.
- Only carry tools in pouches around your waist.
- Always keep both feet and at least one hand on the ladder at all times.
- Maintain ladder clean of spilled oils, grease, and other hazards.
- Under any circumstances, never try to move a ladder when you or somebody else is on it.
- Inspect all ladders and scaffolds prior to use.
- Always face towards the ladder when climbing up or climbing down.
- Keep your body centered while standing on a ladder, and avoiding reaching out on either side.
- Do not load the ladder above the maximum load allowed by the sticker found on the ladder.
If you’ve been injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If a third party or a defective product – such as a broken ladder – contributes to your injury, you may even be eligible for additional compensation. Some examples of liable third parties include subcontractors, manufacturers, and landlords. Our Charleston attorneys have the experience and the resources to handle your case if you are injured in a ladder accident. If you need help securing workers’ compensation benefits or disability benefits, the attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm are ready to put our years of experience handing workers’ comp claims to work for you and your family. Learn more by calling us today at 843-720-2800 or schedule your FREE, confidential consultation.