A man was working in a warehouse in Qormi, Malta when he fell, getting seriously injured. What could have caused this accident? Let’s go over a couple of potential reasons for the accident and how to prevent them.
Some industries require workers standing above two or three feet to tie off. When tied off properly, a worker’s fall can be prevented. The Cage ladder line is also designed to comply with tie-off rules and to prevent falls.
Over reaching is one of the most common causes of ladder-related accidents and is actually easy to prevent. Follow the belt buckle rule and keep your body between the rungs.
Using the Wrong Ladder for the Job
Using the wrong size or wrong type of ladder for a job is sure to cause an accident. Choose a ladder that is tall enough for the job at hand to prevent an unnecessary accident.
A North Carolina city worker was climbing the ladder on a 210-foot tall water tower when her harness failed and she fell. She did not fall all way to the ground, but she did pass away as a result of the fall. The accident is currently under investigation, but the employee’s job title “Admin Support” so it is initially unclear why she was on the water tower’s ladder.
What Can Be Learned
If her job didn’t directly have to do with ladders, she probably did not receive the necessary training to use them safely. In addition, it sounds like her fall protection failed. Whenever an employee is climbing a ladder, make sure he or she gets the necessary training. Also, always inspect all equipment and make sure those using the ladder have the proper clothing and footwear. The time to make sure the fall protection equipment is safe to use is when everyone is safely on the ground, not when someone is 100+ feet in the air. In addition, make sure the equipment has been put on and set up the correct way. If the harness isn’t on correctly, it will not do its job.
As far as inspection, fixed ladders receive a little bit different inspection process than portable ladders, but make sure the fixed ladders are in good condition and are safe for workers to climb them.
This tragic story is a reminder to always make sure those using ladders are trained and that all equipment has been inspected.
A Canadian man was at an industrial site in Toronto when he fell off his ladder and suffered numerous injuries. He later died at the scene. The accident is under investigation by the Canadian Ministry of Labour. The news site will have more information once the investigation is done, but regardless of the details, this accident is a tragedy.
These stories always get to me. This man was somebody’s father, husband, friend, son. It’s hard to know what happened to cause this accident, but regardless of the cause, the accident is tragic.
Remember the safety resources and tips we have on this blog and don’t let yourself be a victim of a ladder accident.
Fiberglass in good condition
A ladder accident in Tennessee led to one man dead and another injured. The two men were trimming trees near a power line when they had an accident. They were taken to a hospital where one man was pronounced dead and the other man was treated for non-life threatening injuries. An investigation found that the man who passed away had been moving a ladder when it struck an overhead line. He was electrocuted.
This tragic accident provides a few reminders.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re moving a ladder, look out for anything overhead.
- If you are working near any electrical wires or power lines, use a fiberglass ladder. Fiberglass does not conduct electricity, so it is not quite as dangerous if you accidentally touch something electrical with your ladder.
Use your ladder safely like the model in this picture.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no shortage of ladder accident news articles out there. In December, another one caught my eye. This man was working on a ladder in Birzebugga, a city in Malta, an island off the shore of Italy. He was working at home, carrying some items to the roof when he fell off the ladder. The ladder then fell on top of the man, adding extra injury.
The article didn’t have any more detail on the accident or updates on the man’s condition, but the story can still provide a few reminders for us.
- Always check, recheck and check again before climbing your ladder
- If the ladder is leaned against a roofline, make sure it extends three feet past the roofline to prevent the ladder from sliding out
- Always maintain three points of contact when ascending or descending the ladder
- If you need materials at the top of the ladder, use a tool belt or a pulley system to get the materials where you need them.
We hope the man is able to make a full recovery, and we hope you can work safely on your ladder by following the safety tips above.