In Tennessee, a school district worker fell from his ladder. He had not been trained properly, which led to him using a ladder wrong and then getting injured.
Carey Booker, the man who was injured, did not secure his aluminum extension ladder after placing it on a rubber surface. He suffered major injuries and will require a number of surgeries. It will be close to 18 months before he is rehabilitated.
Since the accident, the school department has implemented better and more frequent ladder safety training. They used to hold an annual training, but realized this was not frequent enough. They now have ongoing training.
Let’s learn from this accident and take preventive action. We cannot stress it enough. Implement regular safety trainings and you will see a decrease in workplace injuries.
Do you want one more reason to teach ladder safety? I’ve got one for you. I just read an article a ladder accident in Ireland. The Irish courts determined the man could get damages for post-traumatic stress disorder from his ladder accident. He had been on a ladder trimming ivy, when he lost his balance and fell.
Your company or the property an accident happens at could become liable to cover any damages, including mental or emotional.
To prevent issues with the courts, the best course of action is to prevent ladder accidents. Here are some quick tips to help you and your team be safe:
-Train, train train
-Enforce the training
-Teach the basics
-Have good climbing equipment
-Make sure the training equipment is in good order
Don’t let you or anyone on your team get in the same situation as the man from the article. Make sure you know and follow the guidelines and that you help your team do the same.
In Chicago, a man was at a job site, about to climb a ladder, when he realized it was in bad shape. He told the supervisor who sent him home. After a couple of weeks, he was told to return to the job site, and he climbed a ladder that appeared safe. The ladder, however, was not safe. The spreader bar was cracked and gave way, causing the man to fall eight feet to a concrete floor. He is now suing the company since they had the duty to provide safe equipment.
This story is a good reminder of the importance of not only providing safe equipment, but also doing a thorough investigation. The man did a good job the first time by inspecting the ladder and then not climbing it. However, the company should have provided good ladders, especially after the first ladder was reported in bad shape. If you are the supervisor on a job site, you need to provide safe ladders and take ladders that are in bad shape off the site. We can’t stress this enough
As far as inspections go, we can’t emphasize the importance of them enough. Make sure the feet are in good shape and that no part of the ladder is bent or cracked. In the case of this story, there was an issue with the spreader bar that could have been caught with an inspection.
Hopefully we can learn a little bit from this sad accident so we don’t end up in the same situation.
Ladder accidents are so common, but what are the most common causes of ladder accidents? Many different issues can cause a ladder accident, but, based on research, there are four Main Types of Ladder Accidents
Selecting the Wrong Type of Ladder
Choosing the wrong type of ladder for the job is one of the most common causes of ladder accidents. Whether the ladder is a stepladder when it should be an extension ladder or the ladder being used isn’t the correct weight rating, great care should be taken when choosing the ladder.
Using Worn or Damaged Ladders
Using worn or damaged ladders is- just asking for trouble. A thorough inspection should be completed on the ladder before using it each and every time. Bad ladders cause some of the worst accidents, but often the accident could have been prevented easily through a simple inspection. Worn and cracked feet are another sign of danger. If the rubber feet are worn or cracked, the ladder can easily lose its grip.
Incorrect Use of Ladders
Using ladders incorrectly encompasses a number of issues, an entirely separate bog post, but not following proper ladder use leads to accidents and injuries.
Incorrect Placement of Ladders
When preparing to climb a ladder, placement is key. Make sure the ladder is on even ground and is at the correct angle.
Now that we know the four main causes of ladder accidents, we can work to prevent them.
A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report on ladder safety released statistics on the number and seriousness of ladder-related accidents in the United States. Every year, thousands of people are injured and hundreds are killed.
Ladder Accident Statistics
- More than 90,000 people receive emergency room treatmentfrom ladder-related injuries every year
- Elevated falls account for almost 700 occupational deathsannually
- These deaths account for 15% of all occupational deaths
- OSHA believes 100% of all ladder accidents could be prevented if proper attention to equipment and climber training were provided
- Over the last 10 years the amount of ladder-related injuries has increased 50%
- According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of all ladder-related accidents were due to individuals carrying items as they climbed
These statistics are staggering and a good reminder for why we need to keep teaching about ladder safety.