The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that accidents involving ladders and stairs kill several dozen individuals at construction sites each year. In Chicago and in other parts of the country construction workers use ladders and other climbing devices in order to scale tall surfaces. While many are able to do so without sustaining injuries or death, others are unfortunately not so lucky and are harmed with incidents occur on or near their ladders and steps.
According to OSHA, there are many ways that stair and ladder accidents can happen. Problems can occur when a construction worker uses the wrong sized ladder for a job. For example, if a worker selects or is given a ladder that is too short for the job he needs to complete, the person may reach and fall from the high level. A taller, properly secured ladder could prevent this type of dangerous accident.
Additionally, accidents occur when workers use damaged ladders or ladders that are not rated to hold up the weights the workers need to put on them. Ladders can collapse if they are structurally damaged, causing workers to fall. Well-maintained ladders can be dangers when the combined weight of a worker and the person’s equipment exceed the maximum load of a ladder and the ladder buckles underneath the construction worker.
These are only a few of the ways that ladders and climbing equipment at construction sites can cause harm to workers. In many cases, serious accidents involving ladders are preventable and occur because workers are not properly trained on how to use equipment or are given defective equipment to use for their jobs. Construction site accidents can result in serious injuries and individuals who have sustained harm during their periods of work on construction sites may have claims under various personal injury theories of law.