As an Australian couple relaxed on a cruise ship, a 40-lb toolbox came from above, landing on the husband’s chest. A man was working on a ladder above them when he lost control of the heavy toolbox dropping it onto the man relaxing below. The toolbox was full of hammers, screwdrivers and other tools needed for maintenance. At the time of the accident, the man spent time in the sick bay and suffered intense bruising on his head and chest. After the cruise, he suffered headaches and now faces PTSD, depression and anxiety related to the accident. The couple has decided to sue the cruise line.
Let’s talk about the man who had been using the ladder for a minute. According to the news story, he was shaken up after the accident and felt terrible, but, unfortunately, this accident could have been prevented. First, when using a ladder to provide maintenance, use a tool belt to carry the tools. Lugging a heavy toolbox up and down the ladder prevents the worker from maintaining three points of contact. When he gets to the top, the worker then has to find a place to keep the toolbox while he is working. In addition, when using a ladder for maintenance, it is a good precaution to rope off the area to prevent anyone from being in a dangerous fall zone.
Unfortunately, the Australian couple’s vacation was spoiled by this ladder accident. Our hearts go out to them, and we use their story as a cautionary tale for you. Remember to take necessary precautions when using your ladder to prevent a similar accident.