Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Many injuries and death linked to workplace ladder accidents

Summer weather is quickly approaching in North Carolina, and with it comes a higher number of construction, roofing, and maintenance employees working outside on ladders. The Centers for Disease Control found in a recent research project that falls from ladders make up nearly half of all fatal falls in the last 10 years. Work accidents like falls from ladders may at best leave an employee with serious injuries, which can lead to lost time at work, lost wages, and months or even years of treatments.

Employees are at special risk of ladder accidents, since workers using ladders made up one-fifth of all fall injuries. The most frequently injured employees included those working in installation, repair, maintenance, extraction, and construction. Construction employees alone made up more than 80 percent of all ladder fall injuries in emergency rooms.

In 2011, more than 30,000 nonfatal injuries required treatment in hospital emergency departments. Some of the most common injuries from a ladder fall include those to the back, head, or neck. Any of these could make it difficult for an employee to return to his or her normal course of duty.

Many ladder injuries are completely preventable. Employers in high-risk industries such as construction are responsible for establishing safe working environments with an emphasis on proper training and supervision. Ladders should be inspected regularly to identify and remove defective or old equipment that increases the chance of a workplace accident. Unfortunately, some employees learn too late that the proper safety precautions have not been taken, leaving them with serious injuries from a workplace ladder accident. In such cases those injured in workplace accidents may want to seek the advice of an experienced attorney.

Source: USNews.com, “Workplace ladder falls a major cause of deaths, injuries: CDC,” Robert Preidt, April 24, 2014

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