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3 things to know about falls from ladders

Construction workers depend on ladders to get up to heights that aren't reachable from the ground. While these devices provide a valuable service, they also pose a hazard to the men and women who climb up and descend on them. Construction workers who fall from a ladder face the risk of serious injuries. Consider these three points pertaining to ladders used on construction sites.

#1: Proper ladder safety is crucial

The best way to prevent falls from ladders is to use proper ladder safety. This starts with using the proper ladder. You need one that is tall enough to make it easy for you to reach the work area. The weight rating must be greater than your weight, as well as the weight of any tools you carry up with you.

Inspect the ladder before you use it to ensure it is in good condition. Set it up correctly. Keep your hands free when you are climbing or descending. Use a tool belt or hoist to get items you need to the work area. Harnesses can help to keep you from slamming into the ground if you happen to fall from the ladder.

#2: Falls from ladders can lead to serious injuries

Falls from ladders can lead to injuries that range from minor bruises to major head trauma or spinal cord injuries. The height from which you fall, the way you land, and any obstacles in the way of your landing all impact the injuries you face. Medical care is usually necessary after a fall from a ladder. Emergency room visits for workers who fell involved a ladder in 20 percent of cases. Among construction workers, this rate increases dramatically - to 81 percent. Head injuries are a special concern in ladder falls. In 49 percent of fatal ladder falls, a head injury is present.

#3: Compensation is possible

Missing work after suffering an injury in a ladder fall means you can't provide for your family. Workers' compensation can help you to cover your bills. You can file a claim for workers' compensation if your employer was negligent with ladder safety. Be sure that you notify your employer appropriately and file your claim as quickly as possible.

Check notices carefully to determine your responsibilities and rights, such as filing an appeal if you don't agree with a determination of benefits. La dder accidents caused by a defect in the ladder might lead to third-party claims for compensation through a lawsuit filed against the manufacturer.

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