Construction workers use ladders every day, and they’re crucial to many jobs. While ladders might seem like just another tool in the toolkit, they can be incredibly dangerous if they’re used improperly. Ladder accidents can cause serious injuries and take many months of recovery. Knowing how to protect yourself from ladder accidents in the workplace could help. If you’ve been injured in a ladder accident, contact Loewy Law Firm for help from an experienced ladder accident attorney. 

Common Causes of Ladder Accidents

Ladder accidents in construction zones are extremely common. Fortunately, they’re also usually preventable, so learning about ladder safety could help ladder users avoid injury. Some of the most common causes of ladder accidents include: 

Wrong Ladder Type

Different ladders are designed for different tasks, so it’s important to choose a ladder appropriate for your task. Most ladder types have a weight limit. Exceeding that limit could cause the ladder to break, leading to worker injuries. Using a ladder of the wrong height can also be detrimental. If a ladder doesn’t reach the specific area that the worker needs to reach and they try to extend its length by mounting it on a table or other structure, the unstable set-up could cause a serious accident. 

Human Error

Altering a ladder to suit a certain task is never a good idea. It’s essential for workers to receive safety training before using a ladder. Knowing how to use a ladder can improve safety and stability. One of the most important safety rules when using a ladder is the “three-points” rule. A person will be most stable if they keep three areas of the body in contact with the ladder at all times, such as both feet and at least one hand. Abiding by the three-points rule can help prevent workers from falling.

Old or Damaged Ladders

It’s crucial to ensure that a ladder is safe to use before employing it for a task, particularly in a hazardous work site like a construction zone. Ladders wear over time and typically should be replaced every few years, especially if they’re used every day. If a damaged ladder breaks while a worker is performing a task, serious accidents and even death can result. If an inspection reveals cracks or other indications that the ladder may not be safe to use, workers should alert their employer and avoid using the ladder until it is repaired or replaced. 

Unsecured Ladders

Ladders should always be secured before a worker uses them. The ladder should be positioned on firm, level ground. If a ladder is positioned on gravel or another type of shifting ground, it could cause the ladder to fall. It’s also important never to place a ladder in front of a door when someone might open the door. A second person should stand at the base of the ladder to help secure it at all times and ensure the safety of the climber.

Common Injuries Caused by Ladder Accidents

Ladder fall injuries can be particularly serious, depending on the nature and height of the fall. Ladder injuries typically require immediate medical care. Some of the common injuries caused by ladder accidents include: 

Compensation for Ladder Accidents

Construction workers injured in ladder accidents on the job are often eligible to receive benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The worker should report the accident to their employer right away. Within one year, the worker must file a report of the injury with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits in Texas are designed to help workers cover the cost of: 

There are circumstances where a worker might be able to file a personal injury claim against a third party, like a contractor who was on-site, if the contractor’s negligence caused the ladder accident. In this case, a construction worker can claim both workers’ compensation benefits and compensation through a third-party personal injury claim. 

How Loewy Can Help

If you were injured in a ladder accident, the experienced Austin construction accident attorneys at Loewy Law Firm are here to help. We can explain your legal rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve. Whether you’ve decided to initiate a personal injury claim or just want to know what’s possible, we can evaluate your case and help you determine the best course of action. Call us today for a free consultation.