In New York and across the country, ladder accidents are a significant source of injuries at construction sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that nearly 24,882 injuries and up to 36 fatalities occur annually because of falls on stairways and ladders that are used in construction sites. Around 50 percent of these injuries are typically severe enough to warrant time off from work.
Ladder accidents can happen due to various reasons, but some occur because of defects and flaws in the ladder itself. Sometimes these defects occur at the time of manufacturing or during the design process. They may also result from inadequate warning labels. At times, ladder accidents are a consequence of negligence on the part of the site supervisors who may provide workers with obsolete, defective ladders rather than ones that are newer and safer.
Finally, the most frequent cause of ladder accidents is when a worker is directed to use a ladder in an unsafe way, which leads to the ladder lurching, suddenly giving way, or tipping, causing the worker to be in a vulnerable position.
According to OSHA estimates, several dozen people lose their lives annually at construction sites due to accidents involving defective stairs and ladders. To access tall surfaces, construction workers in New York make use of ladders and other climbing equipment. Many workers are able to perform such tasks effectively with no injuries or fatalities. But others are not so fortunate and sustain injuries on or near their ladders.
OSHA indicates that there are various ways in which ladder and stair accidents can occur. Incidents may ensue when a construction site worker uses a ladder that is the wrong size for a specific job. For instance, upon choosing or being given a ladder that is too short for the task at hand, the worker may reach and plummet from the high surface. The use of an adequately secured or a taller ladder can prevent this kind of unfortunate incident.
Also, accidents happen when construction workers use ladders that are damaged or those that are not meant to support the weights that the workers load on them. Structurally-compromised ladders may collapse, which may cause workers to fall.
Even ladders that are well-maintained can pose a danger when the cumulative weight of the worker and their equipment is higher than the maximum load that the ladder can support. This can cause the ladder to collapse under the worker.
The above represents only some ways that ladders and climbing devices at sites of construction can injure workers. Serious incidents are preventable in many instances and occur due to improper training of workers on equipment usage or being given defective climbing equipment.
Accidents that occur at construction sites can cause serious injuries. People who have been injured while working at construction sites may be able to file claims under a variety of tenets of personal injury law.
OSHA offers the following guidelines for the prevention of accidents and injuries related to faulty or precarious ladders:
Some employers mistakenly believe that their workers understand how to use ladders safely. “Improper use” is undoubtedly a cause for many accidents involving ladders, but in many cases, the workers have not been appropriately trained in the use of ladders.
In cases where contractors, subcontractors, property owners, suppliers, ladder manufacturers, or another party causes or contributes to a ladder fall, it may lead to third-party personal injury claims.
Example: The ladder manufacturer may be deemed accountable for injuries due to a ladder fall if the ladder’s locking mechanism is faulty. Your attorney should thoroughly investigate to reveal all possible liable parties with the objective of ensuring that you receive the maximum possible compensation for your present as well as future injuries.
An injury victim may not have any idea about who was responsible for the damaged ladder when a defective ladder gives way. But the victim may not have to prove that any one individual was negligent under premises liability or product liability claims.
Under strict liability for defective products, the injury victim can file a claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the defective product.
If an injury occurs due to a faulty ladder, the victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, or retail seller of the ladder. The injury victim has to prove the below in a product liability case that involves a ladder:
While not all types of ladder accidents at construction sites in New York are preventable, employers can put vital measures in place to avoid these types of falls as far as possible. Ladder injury victims that suffer due to the negligence of an employer or third party may have a strong personal injury claim.
The highly knowledgeable and experienced staff at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have represented ladder accident victims in New York for years, and have recovered maximum damages.
We can assist you in filing and pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the parties that are responsible and make sure that you receive fair compensation for your ladder fall injury as well as other losses that you sustained due to your accident. Reach out to our New York City ladder accident attorneys today at 212-344-1000 or contact us online.