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Ladder accidents and workers' compensation

If you work in the construction industry, there is a good chance that you will use a ladder at some point during your day. Because of the frequency with which construction sites use ladders and scaffolding, ladder accidents result in many injuries and deaths every year.

Here are some of the top causes of ladder accidents on the job site:

  • Using the wrong type of ladder for the job. Don't just make do with what is on hand, get the right ladder or scaffolding for the job. 
  • Using a damaged ladder. A ladder can wear out over time. Along with this, there's always the possibility of a defect. You need to inspect a ladder before taking the first step.
  • Incorrect use. It's easy to believe that using a ladder is as simple as taking one step after the next, but there are other things you need to do. For instance, you must maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times. Neglecting to do so greatly increases the risk of a fall.
  • Incorrect placement. This is something that many people forget about, as they've never run into trouble in the past. A ladder should always be placed on solid, level ground. If you have any reason to believe the ladder may slip when using it, move it to another area. It's better to be safe than sorry.

If for any reason you are involved in a ladder accident, do these three things:

  • Get checked out, even if no injuries are immediately apparent. Head injuries may not have symptoms for a day or two after injury
  • Report the accident and your injuries to your employer
  • Learn if you are able to receive workers' compensation benefits

It's important that you learn more about the workers' compensation system, as you may not be able to return to your job right away. In this case, you want to be able to receive compensation while you recover. In addition, if you were injured because of a defective ladder, you may be able to obtain compensation from the manufacturer. 

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