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  • National Ladder Safety Month

    Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947People have ladders in nearly every home and workplace across the country. This March is National Ladder Safety Month, an event that promotes ladder safety and aims to prevent avoidable injuries and deaths. More than 160,000 individuals are injured and thousands more die from ladder-related injuries they sustain each year. Not only are falls from ladders a leading cause of death on construction sites, but ladder safety also continuously tops the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) top 10 most cited workplace safety violation list. Almost everyone has used a ladder at some point in their lives so be sure to keep reading to learn about effective ways to prevent falls and other kinds of ladder-related injuries.

    Common Ladder-Related Injuries

    Some of the top causes behind ladder-related injuries are falls and being struck with objects or coming into contact with power lines. Other ladder-related injuries are often the result of manufacturing designs or defects or the failure to provide adequate warning labels and instructions. The most common injuries that victims sustain include:

    • Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Rib injuries
    • Lacerations, sprains, strains and bruises
    • Musculoskeletal injuries
    • Bone fractures, including hip, wrist and shoulder fractures
    • Electrical injuries
    • Back and neck injuries

    Safety Tips for Using Ladders

    Luckily, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a list of useful recommendations for how to avoid sustaining a preventable, and sometimes deadly, ladder-related injury. Here are some of the agency’s guidelines:

    • Read and follow all labels/markings on a ladder
    • Avoid electrical hazards! Search for overhead power lines before handling a ladder in an area. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or any exposed, energized electrical equipment
    • Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder while climbing it. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder when climbing
    • Always inspect the ladder before you use it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until it has been repaired or disabled
    • Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes. Do not deviate from the manufacturer’s instructions
    • Ladders must be free of any slippery materials on the rungs, steps or feet
    • Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g. a step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position
    • Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step or rung unless the manufacturer designed it for that specific purpose
    • Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement from occurring
    • Never place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to gain additional height
    • Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on it
    • An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend to a minimum of three feet above the point of support. Do not stand on the top three rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder
    • The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base at a quarter from the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface
    • A ladder place in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder
    • Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged
    • Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight that it is supporting, including the weight of any tools and/or equipment

    When to Contact an Attorney

    If you were injured in a ladder-related accident at home or at work, it may be a good idea to talk to an experienced attorney. Whether you need to investigate filing a workers’ compensation claim to obtain wage replacement and medical benefits for your work-related injury or investigate securing a third-party liability claim against the manufacturer for an unreasonably unsafe or defective ladder, our firm can help. To learn more, please contact a representative online now.


    Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia worker’s compensation attorneys at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)