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Most common ladder-related accidents

The American Ladder Institute designated March 2019 as National Ladder Safety Month as a way to spread the awareness of how ladders play a role in so many workplace accidents. Not just workers but everyone in Connecticut should know that more than 300 people die every year in ladder-related accidents, and there are a few common causes.

Strains and sprains caused by the careless handling of heavy ladders are the most frequently reported injuries. Extension ladders can have their weight reduced by up to 25 percent, though, thanks to advances in fiberglass-resin composites and engineering design. This does not compromise their strength either, so employers could consider it.

Another common cause of accidents is use of the wrong ladder. Workers may use a ladder that is too short, stand on the top rung or lean a stepladder on the wall as if it were an extension ladder. The result is usually a fall, followed by broken bones or permanent disability. The only solution is proper training, combined with the use of multipurpose ladders if necessary.

Over-reaching is also on the list. Where the ground is uneven, the tipping over of the ladder can be mostly avoided through the adding of retractable wide-base levelers. Employers should note that these make the ladder heavier, though.

Sometimes, ladder accidents are the fault of the employee, but other times no one can really be blamed. Whatever the case, a work accident victim might be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits that can cover medical expenses and, in some cases, provide a portion of lost wages during the recovery period. An attorney can often be of assistance during the process.

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