Falling from a ladder can cause a very serious accident depending on how far the person is from the ground and the way they hit when they land. While some people get up and walk away without serious injuries, landing wrong can lead to broken bones, severe bruising, head injuries or even death in some cases.
Workplace ladder falls led to 113 deaths in 2011, and over 34,000 people had to be treated in emergency rooms around the United States. Falls are still the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths around the country, with just under half — 43 percent — being caused by falls from ladders.
How can you keep yourself safer in the workplace when ladders are being used? First, think about the task at hand. Can it be completed without a ladder? If so, attempt it without a ladder first. If not, make sure the ladder is inspected and secured. Two-person buddy systems can work with smaller ladders. In these situations, one worker holds the ladder while the ascends to complete the task. Securing it this way prevents the ladder from tipping over or moving while the worker performs the task.
Workplaces should provide information on ladder safety, and workers using with ladders should receive safety training and information on dealing with emergencies or injuries. If you aren't provided with training or information about workplace safety, your employer could be violating state and federal safety laws. If a worker gets hurt on the job, workers' compensation should be provided to cover medical costs and other damages associated with the injury.
Source: HealthDay, "Workplace Ladder Falls a Major Cause of Deaths, Injuries: CDC," Robert Preidt, accessed Nov. 21, 2016