Ladders are useful devices that help us to reach high places. However, falls from any height can result in serious injuries ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injury. Though using a ladder improperly does lead to many accidents (always read the instructions carefully before use!), manufacturing or design defects also play a large role.
Potential accident causing ladder defects include:
- Defective no-slip feet
- Hinges that fail to lock
- Loose steps
- Rotted rungs
- Weak frames
Most ladder-related accidents occur in the workplace—specifically in construction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2011 workplace fatality data, there were 4,609 workers killed on the job in 2011. This equates to almost 90 deaths per week and nearly 13 deaths per day.
As stated by Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, during her Memorial Day speech on April 26, 2012:
"Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy. American workers are not looking for a handout or a free lunch. They are looking for a good day's pay for a hard day's work. They just want to go to work, provide for their families, and get home in one piece."
Out of 4,114 worker fatalities in the private industry in 2011, 721 or 17.5% were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by an object, and caught in or between an object/objects. These "Fatal Four" were responsible for nearly three out of five (57%) construction worker deaths in 2011, the BLS reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 410 workers' lives in America every year.
The latest Fatal Four statistics come from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2018:
- Falls: 338 out of 1,008 total deaths (33.5%)
- Electrocutions: 86 deaths (8.5%)
- Struck by object: 112 deaths (11.1%)
- Caught-in/between: 55 deaths (5.5%)
The Hazards Of Ladders At Home & In The Workplace
A fall from a product defect, malfunction, or failure while on a construction site can result in an onslaught of serious injuries—broken bones, neck injuries, back injuries, serious spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and even death.
Falls from ladders are not only a workplace hazard, as these injuries can happen at home should your personal ladder be defective. If product liability or someone else's negligence caused the injury, our experienced attorneys can advocate on your behalf in order to get you the compensation you deserve.