Do you use a ladder regularly or even now and again at work? If so, you should be aware that working at height can be dangerous – in fact, falls from height are the most common cause of fatalities, accounting for nearly three in ten (29%) fatal injuries to workers in 2013/14. Whilst there are regulations in place to protect workers when they are working at height, you could still be injured by falling off a ladder at work. Falling off ladder injuries can range from minor injuries to more serious, life-changing injuries that could leave you permanently disabled. If your accident was caused by somebody else then there’s a good chance you could make a personal injury claim, and Accident Advice Helpline could help you.
How do falling off ladder injuries occur?
Falling off ladder injuries could occur due to any of the following:
- A faulty or unsafe ladder which is poor quality, old or has been poorly maintained
- Incorrect placement of a ladder, for example if the ladder is on uneven ground or not held in place properly it could fall
- Colleagues or your boss playing a prank by moving the ladder
- Ladder safety devices not used properly or not used at all
Falling off ladder injuries could also be caused by bad weather – for example wintry showers or rain could make the rungs of a ladder slippery, and you could fall. Using the wrong type of ladder for the job at hand can also be a contributory factor when it comes to ladder falls – it’s important to use the right size of ladder rather than extending its reach by propping it up on something.
What are the most common falling off ladder injuries?
Did you know that over 90,000 people receive emergency medical treatment for falling off ladders every year? Falling off ladder injuries can range from minor injuries like cuts and bruises to more serious injuries like a concussion, head injury, broken bones or even a spinal injury that could leave you permanently paralysed. If you fall from a great height or land on a sharp object, or if objects fall on you, you could suffer serious injuries or even be killed. If somebody you love has been killed in a ladder accident, you could find you’re entitled to claim compensation on their behalf. It’s up to your employer to ensure that all accidents are recorded in an accident book at work, and if you are concerned about health and safety at work, you could consider reporting your accident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Who is at fault for your accident?
If you have fallen off a ladder at work and been injured, it could be that your employer is at fault for your accident. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 exists to protect employees against the risks of working at height. It states that, “Employers must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height. Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning.” It’s up to your employer to carry out risk assessments before work at height takes place, as well as ensuring that all equipment for working at height is safe and well maintained.
If a faulty ladder causes your accident or if you are injured whilst working at height and think that your employer is to blame, you could make a personal injury claim within three years of your accident happening and be compensated for your pain and suffering as well as any loss of earnings you have sustained as a result of your accident.
Why might you need to use a ladder at work?
There are many different jobs and scenarios where you may need to use a ladder at work. For instance you may be working on a roof maintenance project or on a building site, or perhaps you need to use a ladder in the office to reach files on a high shelf. In all these cases, you should always ensure that you check the ladder is safe to use before using it. Carrying out a pre-use check can help to reduce the risk of a fall from height occurring. If you are using leaning ladders this should involve:
- Checking the feet for wear and tear
- Making sure that the stiles are not bent or split
- Checking the rungs are not loose, bent or missing
If you are using a stepladder then you should consider checking the locking bars (if they are bent, your ladder could collapse), checking the feet, platform, steps and stiles to make sure the ladder is in safe condition to use.
Are you eligible to claim compensation for your injuries?
If you have fallen from a ladder at work and suffered injuries, then we could help you make a personal injury claim for compensation. There’s a three-year time limit in place to make a claim, but the good news is that you could claim compensation for either minor or more serious injuries. For example if you have sustained minor injuries such as a sprained ankle after falling from a faulty ladder on a construction site, you may need to take time off work to recover after your accident.
We could help you claim compensation for your loss of earnings, as well as your injuries. If you have fallen from height from a ladder and suffered serious spinal injuries that have left you permanently disabled, we will take into account how your injuries have impacted your future, and we can help you to claim compensation for future financial losses, such as loss of earnings, as well as your injuries.
What should you do after your accident?
Whether you have suffered minor falling off ladder injuries caused by a faulty ladder at work or more serious injuries after a fall from height, the best thing to do is to get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline as soon as possible after your accident. You can call us on 0800 689 5659 to find out more about making a claim and see if you are eligible to claim compensation after your accident. For an idea of how much you could be entitled to receive, you can take the 30-second test™ on our website.