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Ladder falls can result in workplace injuries and fatalities

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently researched the dangers of falls from ladders. Their findings are unlikely to surprise anyone in the Denver construction industry: more than four out of every 10 fatal falls in the U.S. involve a ladder. And among workers, about one out of every five injuries from falls also involved ladders.

Because falls from ladders can be likely to lead to serious workplace injuries, the federal agency put together a list of tips for employers and workers to help prevent the accidents.

Who’s at greatest risk of a fall from a ladder? People who work in construction, extraction/mining, installations, maintenance and those who do repairs.

However, a NIOSH researcher says most of those injuries can be prevented when employers, medical experts and safety professionals team up to show people proper and safe use of ladders both on the worksite and at home.

Now let’s get to those safety tips:

  • The first one makes a lot of sense, in that it encourages people to do as much of the needed work on the ground rather than on ladders.
  • For employers, provide safer alternatives to ladders, such as lifts and scaffolding. Also for employers, provide training to your workers in proper use of ladders. Make sure they know how to do their jobs safely.
  • Make sure the ladder fits the task at hand, the person and the location of the job. Also, please inspect ladders and make sure they have all safety features needed.

When on-the-job accidents result in injuries, employees are entitled to workers’ compensation. For those denied those needed benefits, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can assist with your appeal.

Source: Safety.BLR.com, "Researchers reveal deadly facts about workplace ladders; Do's and don'ts for ladder safety," May 27, 2014

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