Ladders pose a potential risk factor to anyone who uses them. In particular, ladder falls make up a large percentage of these incidents.
What should you know about these falls? What injuries result from them and how do they impact the victims who suffer from them?
Why do falls happen?
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors discusses the dangers that ladders may contribute to the workplace. Of course, as mentioned, the biggest risk comes in the form of fall potential.
Many ladder falls happen because of workers refusing to stick to safety protocol, or by negligence on the part of the management, i.e. possibly not telling workers the correct way to use ladders, or doing nothing to reinforce proper use.
Most ladder falls are thusly categorized as preventable mishaps. For example, the most common causes of falls include stepping above the safe zone on the ladder, not maintaining three points of contact with the ladder at all times, and not having a secure base to rest the ladder on.
Inspecting the equipment
In addition to ensuring that all employees understand the basics of ladder safety, it is also important for all ladders to undergo routine inspection, ensuring they do not have any faults that might lead to the collapse of the ladder during its use. Failure to do so can lead to injury even if a worker does everything correctly.
Fall injuries can range in severity from mild to extreme, resulting in issues like broken bones, fractures, brain injury and worse. This is why it is crucial for workers to approach ladder use with safety in mind.