Accidents involving ladders are responsible for more than half a million injuries every year in the United States alone. Approximately 300 of these accidents result in death.
While some injuries may have been unavoidable, many of these accidents can be prevented with proper equipment, training, and other workplace safety measures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth several ladder safety requirements designed to reduce the number of this type of injury in the workplace including:
- Each ladder must be thoroughly inspected before each use
- Only one person on a ladder at a time
- Damaged ladders must be marked “Do not use” and taken out of service immediately
- Ladders must be tied down securely during transport
- Ladders must be free of hazards including grease, oil, and other substances
- Ladders must be carried parallel to the ground and must never be “walked” from one location to another
- The maximum load for a ladder must never be exceeded or used for anything other than its intended purpose
- Tools must not be carried by hand
- Use only non-conductive side rails around electrical equipment
- Do not use the top step for standing or stepping
- Do not stand or cross bracing across ladders
- Face the ladder when ascending and descending
- Traffic areas must be barricaded securely while ladder is in use
- The area around the top and bottom of the ladder must be kept clear when in use
- Workers must keep three points of contact with ladder at all times
- Workers should not overextend toward the sides of the ladder
- Protective clothing and rubber soled shoes must be worn at all times
OSHA rules require that all of these conditions be met when using ladders on a worksite.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed due to safety regulations being overlooked, or if you believe a defective ladder was responsible for your injuries, you may be able to receive compensation in a defective product claim. The lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers can review your case and advise you on the best way to proceed.