Those in the construction industry often use ladders and scaffolds on a daily basis to reach elevated surfaces when repairing damage to structures or constructing new property. When proper safety matters are not followed, construction workers may be placed at risk of catastrophic fall and potentially life threatening injuries. In Kansas, employees who are injured on the job will usually be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which can include coverage of medical bills, time off work, lasting disability, and more. Depending upon the circumstances of the accident, an injured worker can sometimes seek recovery outside of the workers’ compensation system, such as in the case of a defective scaffold or ladder.
Why Do Scaffolding and Ladder Accidents Occur?
Falls from scaffolds and ladders occurring on the job site are often the result of poor maintenance, safety standards, or a manufacturer defect. Some examples of defective designs and improper safety measures include:
- Loose rungs
- Improperly positioned ladders
- Missing guardrails
- Broken parts
- Ladders that are not tied off or secured properly
Ladder and scaffold accidents often involve extreme heights which can result in devastating consequences. Construction workers that fall from the heights involved in ladder and scaffold accidents will sometimes require months or even years of ongoing medical care and rehabilitation. Permanent disabilities are not uncommon for the survivors of these serious accidents.
A wide range of injuries can result from ladder and scaffold falls, including:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
All employers are under an obligation to provide employees with a safe working environment, safe equipment, and proper training. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) publishes the following tips to employers to help keep employees safe when using ladders or scaffolds:
- Plan: You must plan to complete the job in a safe manner before the task is started. Identify the safety equipment you will need for each task and consider the fall hazards that could present each step of the way. By anticipating potential falls and using proper safety equipment, you can minimize the risk of falls.
- Provide: As an employer, you must provide your employee with proper equipment. All scaffolds and ladders must be inspected prior to use and kept in excellent working condition. Additionally, all necessary fall protection equipment should be provided to employees. This equipment will depend upon the job at hand. All ladders should be selected based on the individual job.
- Train: Employers are responsible for training their employees so that they can perform the job at hand in a safe manner. Employees must be instructed as to the proper set up and safe operation of scaffolds, ladders, and other equipment. All workers should be trained to recognize potential hazards associated with the use of ladders and scaffolds.
Contact Michael R. Lawless Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
For over 27 years, Kansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Michael R. Lawless of the law firm Michael R. Lawless, P.A. has assisted injured workers across the state in a wide range of workers’ compensation matters. Michael R. Lawless is an award winning workers’ compensation lawyer who will fight to see that you receive the compensation you deserve for your workplace injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, disability, and more. For assistance with your workplace accident, call the dedicated workers’ compensation firm of Michael R. Lawless today at (913) 681-5566 or toll-free at (800) 734-3771. We offer a free consultation to all new clients.