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The Dangers of Ladders in the Workplace

Ladders AccidentsWith the weather being agreeable year-round in the Bay Area, it is not uncommon to see repair and construction contractors hard at work on various projects. Many such workers—along with tree trimmers, house painters, and others—rely on scaffolding and ladders to reach their assigned duties. Unfortunately, ladders are an all-too-common source of workplace accidents, and falls from ladders lead to an alarming number of preventable deaths each year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all fatal falls in the last decade or so have involved ladders. In addition, ladders have been linked to more than 80 percent of emergency room visits for fall-related injuries—many of them occurring while the victim was performing his or her job.

The Dangers of Ladders

At first glance, a ladder may seem like a very simple, reliable tool for getting work done. There are a number of different types of ladders, some of which are self-supporting while others must be braced against a wall or other sturdy surface. A lack of stability or the improper setup of a ladder may cause a worker to lose his or balance and to come crashing down. It is also possible to lose balance while climbing or descending a ladder or trying to reach too far while on the ladder.

One of the most pervasive misconceptions about ladders is that a ladder’s height is the primary danger, especially when it comes to fatal falls. The CDC, however, has shown otherwise. Almost half of all ladder-related deaths occur following a fall of between six and fifteen feet.

Your Rights to Compensation

If you were injured due to a fall from a ladder while working, you may have several recourses to collection compensation for your injuries. Depending on your status as an employee with a particular company, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are an independent contractor, however, workers’ comp may not be available to you. Therefore, you may have the option of filing a workplace injury claim against the person who caused your injury. You may also be able to file suit against the manufacturer of the ladder if it was defective in any way.

Contact a Workplace Accident Lawyer

Any type of work-related injury has the ability to change your life forever. If you have fallen from a ladder and suffered injuries while on the job, an experienced workplace injury attorney in San Jose can help you explore all of your available options. Call (408) 289-1417 for a free consultation at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. today.

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