Do not go up on this type of ladder without someone holding it.
Ladder accidents are a frequent consequence of working at construction and industrial sites in South Florida. In many instances, the individual involved in the accident sustains serious injuries, resulting in hospitalization. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, the majority of ladder-related injuries are fractures and injuries to the legs and feet. However, other more serious injuries such as brain damage and paralysis may occur as well. The same study reports more than 2 million ladder injuries have occurred over the span of 16 years, resulting in emergency room visits. In some cases, falls from ladders have resulted in death.
In order to prevent and/or reduce ladder accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has produced a series of ladder regulations that must be maintained by all employers requiring the use of a ladder. Among the requirements, Construction employers are obligated to provide training for any worker that uses a ladder. According to OSHA standard 1926.1060, the training must consist of:
- The nature of fall hazards in the work area.
- The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, and disassembling the fall protection systems to be used.
- The proper construction, use, placement, and care in handling of all stairways and ladders.
- The maximum intended load-carrying capacities of ladders.
Lamentably, not every manufacturer (or employer) follows through with ladder standards. Poor maintenance of a ladder or a defect on the design of the ladder may result in an injury, or death. In cases where there is a flaw in the design, the manufacturer is one in the chain of sale who would be held responsible. Keller Ladder would be one of the ones who have historically been sued many times for allegedly defective ladders. One must be cautious, because in Florida, if the product is more than 12 years old from the date of sale, you will potentially be barred from suing the manufacturer of a defective ladder by what is called the Statute of Repose (with some limited exceptions).
Ladder accidents also occur as a result of selecting the wrong ladder for the job, or setting it up improperly. When a ladder is set up incorrectly, any shift in weight or sudden movement may cause the ladder to tip, slide, or even collapse. However, a person who sets up a ladder incorrectly for his own use may be the sole person responsible for his injuries.
When purchasing a ladder, consult a reliable rating organization to see which are the best and the safest, such as Consumer Reports. Additionally, workers should take precautionary measures to avoid ladder accidents. The following is a list of preventive measures provided by OSHA to reduce the risk of falling from a ladder:
- Maintain three points of contact
- Place the ladder on level footing
- Always face the ladder
- Secure the ladder by locking the metal braces at the center of the ladder
- Don't overreach
- Don't ‘walk’ the ladder
If you are the victim of a ladder accident due to negligence from a third party, you may be entitled to file an injury claim. As Coral Springs ladder accident lawyers, we are dedicated to serving you with our best legal advice pertaining to your accident. Our personal injury firm has over 36 years of quality experience handling ladder cases.
Every personal injury case is unique and ladder cases are no exception. A good example is the case of one of our former clients, Mr. Ortiz, who was called for a job to pressure clean the roof of a private residence. When he arrived, he noticed he had forgotten his ladder. The owner of the residence offered to lend Ortiz his ladder and Ortiz accepted. Ortiz used the ladder to work; however, on his way down he fell and suffered serious injuries. After the incident, Ortiz contacted our firm to represent him for the injuries he sustained. Upon investigation, it was determined the ladder Ortiz used was defective due to incorrect disassembly and poor maintenance by the owner of the ladder. As a result, the court found the defendant homeowner could be deemed to be negligent for allowing our client to borrow the ladder despite allegedly knowing the hazardous condition the ladder was in. Our client received a settlement for the injuries he sustained from the accident. Let our attorneys do our best to try to obtain a successful result for you.
Contact our office now at 1-877-853-7466 for a free consultation. We are Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach County ladder accident lawyers ready to assist you or your loved one involved in a ladder accident.