Ladder use is common on most California construction sites. Yet, ladder-related injuries are also common in the industry, some of which wind up proving fatal. Even when a ladder incident does not lead to a construction worker’s death, he or she may still experience broken bones, paralysis, back and neck injuries and other serious hardships in the wake of a ladder fall.
According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health, ladder falls and associated injuries are far more prevalent in construction than they are in most other industries.
Ladder injury rates, statistics and types
Studies show that 38% of all fatalities in construction are the result of falls. Also, about a quarter of all nonfatal injuries suffered by construction workers result from falls from ladders. Meanwhile, 15% of nonfatal injuries suffered by workers in other sectors arise from the same circumstances. When a worker falls from a ladder, common injuries that result include back injuries, neck injuries, broken bones and paralysis, among others.
Ladder injury preventative measures
Using a ladder safely involves using the right type of ladder for a particular job. This also means workers must use a ladder that is of an appropriate height for the job they are performing, and that they angle it appropriately. Construction industry employers also have a duty to train their workers about the risks associated with working on ladders and take necessary steps to prevent ladder-related injuries and fatalities.
Some construction industry employers are investing in lifts and similar equipment to help reduce their worker’s reliance on ladders – and the number of ladder-related injuries their team members experience.