Each year, over 300 Americans are killed in home- or work-related ladder accidents. In order to raise awareness about ladder safety in Texas and across the United States, the American Ladder Institute is holding its annual National Ladder Safety Month in March.
According to the ALI, most on-the-job ladder accidents can be prevented by providing safety training to workers. It is also important for workers to have access to the correct type of ladder required for each job. The non-profit organization has also found that most ladder injuries fall into one of three major categories. If employers and workers understand these categories, they should be able to avoid them.
The first ladder injury category involves the repeated handling of heavy climbing equipment. While strains and sprains from hauling heavy ladders aren't as serious as a fall, they are the most common type of ladder-related injury on job sites. In order to reduce these types of injuries, employers can invest in fiberglass-resin composite ladders, which can reduce the weight of an extension ladder by as much as 25 percent. The second ladder injury category involves using the wrong ladder for the job. Workers who use equipment that is too short could easily fall if they have to stand on the top rung and lose their balance. To prevent these injuries, workers should always use the correct size ladder for the job. The third ladder injury category involves falls from over-reaching. These types of injuries can occur when a worker tries to reach beyond the recommended distance for the ladder and falls or causes the ladder to tip over. To avoid these injuries, workers should always move the ladder into the correct position and make sure it is on even ground.
Most people who are injured on the job are eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits. An attorney familiar with workplace safety claims could review an injured worker's case and help prepare the necessary documents.