Studies have shown that workers falling from ladders number among the most common on-the-job accidents. Georgia workers and their families often suffer hardships after such falls and their earning capacity may never fully recover as the result of the injuries sustained. While the fall itself is naturally scary, this is followed by the painful impact and the realization that the workplace injuries may be severe enough to affect the remainder of their lives.
In a recent study done by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that one of the primary causes of accidental injury and death in the U.S. is falls and almost half of the fatalities were ladder-related falls. It was reported that ladders are involved in about 20 percent of all workers’ injuries. In addition, the study showed that, of all construction workers’ injuries reported to emergency departments in 2011, 81 percent were thought to have been ladder falls.
The leader of the study group said that the majority of these accidents could have been prevented if better safety procedures were practiced. The group recommended research into the prevention of ladder falls. Until new technologies are available to cut down on injuries sustained from ladder falls, employers and workers should explore ways to perform more operations on ground level without ladder use. By supplying secure scaffolds or aerial lifts, ladder use may be avoided. If, however, ladders have to be used, they should be properly inspected and be suitable for the weight of the worker, along with being appropriate for the task and the location where they are to be used.
Georgia workers who have suffered workplace injuries, whether or not they are the result of insufficient safety training or unsafe working environments, have the right to claim benefits from workers’ compensation. This process may prove to be confusing, or even intimidating. Workers, or the families who may have lost loved ones, are free to seek assistance in their pursuit of the full medical, lost wage and/or survivor benefits to which they are entitled.
Source: nlm.nih.gov, “Workplace Ladder Falls a Major Cause of Deaths, Injuries: CDC”, Robert Preidt, April 24, 2014