Workplace accidents at construction sites are serious matters that should be prevented when possible. For these workers, the biggest hazard that they face is falls. Falls from ladders are specifically dangerous, but falls from other locations, including scaffolding are also very serious.
When you consider construction workers alone, approximately 81 percent of fall injuries that required care in the emergency room involved a ladder. This highlights the need of people in the industry to take steps to keep workers safe.
How can falls from ladders be reduced?
One of the easiest ways prevent falls from ladders is to have workers do as much work on the ground. However, this isn't always possible. When they must work from a ladder, there should be safety precautions in place. These include making sure the ladder is properly secured before a worker gets on it and using safety harnesses when they are climbing to significant heights.
What alternatives to ladders do construction workers have?
Construction workers can use aerial lifts or scaffolding when appropriate. These provide a bit more stability than a ladder and aren't considered as dangerous.
Whether one of these alternatives are used or a ladder is necessary, the equipment should be inspected prior to use to ensure that it is good condition. Any signs of weakness or disrepair must be addressed before the item is used.
When workers do suffer a fall injury, medical care is likely necessary. These expenses should be covered by workers' compensation, so make sure you file a claim if you are injured in a fall at work.
Source: Healthday, "Workplace Ladder Falls a Major Cause of Deaths, Injuries: CDC," accessed Feb. 23, 2018