How Can Employers Prevent Ladder Accidents at Work?

Posted on: 2 mins read
Melanie Burden

Partner, Head of Employer's Liability - Serious Injury

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If you have to climb a ladder as part of your work, there are many health and safety rules employers must follow to reduce your chances of falling off and suffering a serious injury. These include:

  • Providing adequate training to staff
  • Carrying out risk assessments
  • Making sure equipment is properly maintained
  • Providing adequate protective equipment, such as helmets

But sadly, there are times when an avoidable accident at work does happen - an incident that could have been prevented had just a few extra precautions been taken.

If an employer was negligent and failed to keep you safe at work and you’ve been injured in a ladder accident, you could claim compensation for your injuries.

Get in touch with our Serious Injury Solicitors for a free claims assessment and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation with you. We usually act on a No Win, No Fee basis - ask us for details.

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Who is Most at Risk of Ladder Accidents?

Ladder accidents can happen to people in many different occupations, such as:

  • Warehouse staff
  • Shop workers
  • Builders
  • Roofers
  • Electricians
  • Plasterers
  • Painters
  • Window glaziers
  • Aerial fitters
  • Engineers

A fall from any height can be dangerous and a fall even from a step ladder can result in a serious injury. But if you fall a great distance from a longer ladder, you could be left with life-changing injuries, such as multiple fractures, spinal injuries and head injuries.

Our Serious Injury Solicitors are dedicated to helping people injured through no fault of their own get the care, support and rehabilitation they need, so they’re in the best possible position to rebuild their lives.

What Safety Measures Should Be Taken?

Depending on the type of work being carried out, safety measures should include:

  • Training staff on the safe use of ladders
  • Completing regular risk Assessments
  • Carrying out a work at height assessment
  • Considering alternatives to using a ladder, such as a working platform or cherry picker
  • Regularly inspecting and maintaining ladders
  • Displaying the weight load limits on the ladder
  • Making sure employees don’t overload or overreach when using the ladder
  • Providing safety equipment such a safety harness, appropriate footwear and a hard hat

What Causes Ladder Accidents?

There are lots of common causes of ladders accident including:

  • Ladders not being properly secured and slipping
  • Ladders not positioned at the wrong angle
  • Ladders being in a poor state of repair, such as missing anti-slip feet or having a structural fault
  • Ladders being used in adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds
  • An object hitting or striking the ladder
  • The wrong type of ladder being selected for the job
  • Items being carried up or down the ladder
  • Slippery rungs
  • Electrical hazards - if the ladder is put too close to electrical hazards or the incorrect type of ladder such as an aluminium ladder is used for electrical work

How Common are Ladder Injury Deaths?

The latest Health and Safety Executive statistics on fatalities from ladder accidents make shocking reading.

Of the 111 fatal injuries in accidents at work in 2019/20, 25% of fatal injuries were falls from height - on average 34 fatal accidents a year.  Over half of these fatal accidents happened in the construction industry.  

If you’ve suffered a fall from height at work and believe your employer was at fault, get in touch with our Serious Injury Solicitors. We can let you know straight away if you may have a good chance of successfully claiming compensation, and will discuss your various options with you.

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