Workers at construction sites around Chicago are often required to use ladders as part of their jobs. While employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for employees who climb such structures, ladders can be dangerous as their height and unstable nature can cause falls and other serious accidents. Workers who fall from ladders are likely to sustain severe and even life-threatening injuries.
The construction industry is inherently dangerous as it raises numerous safety concerns that put workers at risk of injury. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that falls are a leading cause of workplace accidents. Construction workers, in particular, are at risk of ladder fall injuries. They make up an estimated 81 percent of fall injuries treated in emergency rooms in the country. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, residential roofing contractors, who often work on ladders, comprised 46.7 percent of construction-related deaths in 2012.
Common Causes of Ladder Falls
Ladder accidents can occur due to a number of reasons. The most common causes include:
- Wet, slippery surfaces due to rainy weather or carelessness
- Poor assembly or defective structure
- Falling objects or debris
- Electrocution due to contact with a power line
- Ladder being moved or destabilized
Ladder falls can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, brain injuries and paralysis. In extreme cases, such injuries may even be fatal. Individuals who have been hurt due to a fall from a ladder should speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to learn about their options.
Seeking Compensation for a Ladder Accident
Under Illinois workers’ compensation laws, injured workers are entitled to benefits regardless of who was at fault for their accident. If the worker or employer is to blame, the workers’ compensation policy of the latter will pay the injured worker lost wages and medical expenses, as well as disability benefits if they are unable to work temporarily or permanently.
In addition to receiving benefits from their employer, an injured employee may also be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who may have been at fault for the accident, such as an equipment manufacturer or a subcontractor at the jobsite. For example, if the worker fell from a faulty ladder, the company that provided it could be liable for the accident. Before a ladder fall victim pursues compensation, an investigation must be conducted to determine the cause of the fall.
At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we strive to help our clients navigate the complexities of workplace injury cases. Contact us today for a free consultation where one of our attorneys will assess the facts of your situation and help you understand your legal rights.