The appeals court recently upheld a $5.9 million verdict for an Arizona man who suffered severe back injuries and traumatic brain injury after falling from a ladder while helping to build a church roof.
Unfortunately, falls off ladders occur frequently when performing work. A construction accident lawyer in Phoenix can help victims of fall injuries to make a workers' compensation claim or to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death action if someone other than an employer is to blame for the injuries that occurred.
Ladder Safety Key to Fall Injury Prevention
Falls are a leading cause of injury in the construction field, but any worker who climbs a ladder for any reason could potentially get hurt if he falls off it. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a guide to safe use of ladders in the workplace in an effort to try to reduce the number of accidents that occur. Safety tips that OSHA provides include:
- Using a ladder only for appropriate jobs. A ladder is useful when climbing to an elevated height only for a brief period of time. If you need to continue to work at a high height for a long time, if you'll be doing work that would require you to stand sideways or if you need your hands free, you should consider a scissor lift instead of a ladder.
- Using an appropriately-sized ladder. You never want to stand on the top rung of a ladder when you are doing work. You also want to ensure that the ladder extends for at least three feet above the landing point. This will give you a place to keep your hands holding on when you are on the ladder.
- Keeping at least three points of contact with the ladder at all times. This usually includes two feet and at least one hand. Do not let go of the ladder with both hands, and don't carry tools or other items up the ladder in your hands as you climb it.
- Securing the base of the ladder. The ladder should be set up on a stable solid surface and the base of the ladder should be secured. You may wish to consider setting up cones around the base of the ladder so that passerby do not come too close to it and potentially upset the stability.
- Wearing the correct footwear. When climbing a ladder, the worker should have on flat non-slip footwear.
- Checking ladders carefully before use. A ladder should receive a visual inspection before being used on a job. Ladders should also be well-maintained and stored carefully to prevent damage that could make the ladder unsafe for workers to use.
By following these tips, hopefully the number of workers who fall from ladders can be significantly reduced. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 668 deaths of workers from falls nationwide in 2012. Employers and employees both need to do their part to reduce the risk of a deadly fall.
Contact a Phoenix accident attorney at Israel & Gerity. Call 888-900-3667 to schedule your free consultation.