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Ladder falls a leading cause of construction injuries, deaths

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2024 | Workplace Injuries

Ladder falls pose a notable risk to construction workers. Many such falls result in severe injuries and even fatalities.

Understanding the dangers associated with ladder use helps promote safety on construction sites.

Improper ladder use

A leading cause of ladder falls in construction is improper use. This includes using the wrong type or size of ladder for the task at hand, failing to secure the ladder or overreaching while on the ladder. Workers may also neglect to maintain three points of contact while climbing or descending. This increases the risk of losing balance and falling.

Lack of fall protection

Another contributing factor to ladder falls is the absence of adequate fall protection measures. In many cases, workers may not use harnesses or safety belts while working on ladders. This leaves them vulnerable to falls from heights. Employers must ensure that fall protection equipment is readily available and that workers know how to use it to mitigate the risk of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.

Unsafe work environment

Unsafe work environments, such as cluttered or uneven surfaces, can also increase the likelihood of ladder falls. Uneven terrain or debris on the ground can cause the ladder to shift or slip, leading to loss of balance and falls. Employers should prioritize maintaining clean and organized work areas to minimize hazards and prevent accidents.

Occupational Safety & Health reports that there were 5,370 ladder-related injuries in construction in 2020. By addressing factors contributing to ladder falls, employers can help reduce the risk of ladder-related incidents.