When Ladders Buckle and You Fall
“One person’s embarrassment is another person’s accountability.”
The court awarded $2.7 million to Kevin King after he suffered a spinal injury from falling off a ladder at work. According to his attorney’s, the work site Kevin worked on that day failed to provide safety equipment and therefore became liable for the injuries he sustained. Stories like Kevin King’s are not uncommon. In fact, according to a report by the, CDC, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury mortality nationwide. In the last decade there have been 43% of the fatal falls involved a ladder.
Ladder safety is commonly underestimated and operating a ladder may seem simple but if done incorrectly can cause life long complications. Therefore it is important to take precautions to ensure that you are taking responsible for your own safety. The high injury rate is due to lack of safety guidelines being followed and the person operating the ladder carelessly. Use common sense while climbing or standing on a ladder, and read the instructions that come with the ladder.
The majority of ladder falls occur due to human error. In the case mentioned above, Kevin King was working on a ladder to reach the ceiling while installing vent piping. While on the ladder, a bit jammed in his drill causing it to buck and hit King in the face, knocking him off the ladder. Did the ladder fail him? No, it was a common occurrence that would have not normally been as dangerous had he not been drilling while standing on top of the ladder. If all safety precautions and regulations had been applied and followed by the company then the fall would not have been as serious.
There are cases where firefighters, construction workers, or even homeowners have become injured due to a ladder malfunctioning while they were on it. In some cases this is due to weight overload in a specific area of the ladder and in other cases it can only be linked to a defect in the manufacturing of the ladder. In these cases, the operator of the ladder is not misusing the product and is using proper safety precautions when the ladder buckles.
If you or a loved one have suffered a fall from a ladder malfunctioning, you may be entitled to compensation for you pain and suffering. Contact, the law office of Teal & Montgomery, for a free initial consultation of your specific case or to aid in you worker’s compensation claim.