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Ladder Falls Can Result in Serious Injuries to Workers

Man falls off ladder

Construction work can come with a great deal of risk, no matter what role you’re playing on a job site. However, no job is as dangerous as work done at a height. Ladder falls are a particularly common cause of injury on a construction job site, and can cause long-term health consequences for victims. Read on to learn more about the risks posed by work on ladders, and the possible legal consequences faced by those who fail to adequately protect your safety on the job site.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the leading cause of death on construction sites is falls. According to OSHA statistics, falls caused 291 of the 828 total deaths on construction sites that occurred in 2013. One study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that, among all fall injuries on construction sites that resulted in visits to a hospital emergency room, 81% involved a ladder. The CDC study also found that those who worked for smaller employers were at greater risk for injury from a ladder fall.

Falling from a height can cause serious injuries in victims. Workers can fracture wrists, arms, legs, and even skulls in ladder falls. The fall can cause injuries to the delicate nerves and discs in the neck or spine, resulting in partial or full paralysis. Additionally, ladder falls can cause traumatic brain injuries to victims. Among all those fatally injured by a ladder fall, nearly half had suffered head injuries. When a worker survives a fall, these types of injuries all require long periods of recuperation from which to heal, and possibly even rehabilitation with a physical therapist, resulting in weeks or months of time off work. Injuries to the brain and spinal cord could cause life-long damage.

In order to prevent deaths resulting from ladder falls, both OSHA and South Carolina have numerous laws regulating the use of ladders to keep workers safe. For instance, construction site managers cannot require workers to use two or more ladders to reach the work area without providing a platform or landing in between those ladders. Also, ladders that are not self-supporting must be propped against the wall at a safe angle. Ladder rungs must all be parallel, level, intact and have a skid-resistant surface. The area surrounding a ladder must be clear, and appropriate support must be provided by a worker on the ground if the ladder is not entirely stable.

If you have been injured on the job by a ladder fall, or incurred another serious injury on the job in South Carolina, contact the skilled and professional Spartanburg workers’ compensation attorney Chad Pye for a consultation on your case, at 864-583-5658.