Scaffolding and Ladder Injures
I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today we’ll look at a common type of injury we see, particularly with workers in the construction industry—namely, scaffolding and extension ladder injuries.
Workers can be killed or severely injured if the ladder or scaffolding they are using collapses. Indeed, the danger of falling from a high elevation is one of the main hazards associated with ladders and scaffolds. Other common dangers include the collapse of the scaffold, due to instability or overloading; being struck by falling tools, work materials, or debris; as well as electrocution due to a scaffold or ladder being near overhead power lines.
There are two basic types of scaffolds: supported scaffolds (consisting of one or more platforms supported by rigid, load-bearing members such as poles, legs, frames, outriggers, etc.) and there are suspended scaffolds (platforms suspended by ropes or other non-rigid overhead support—think of what window washers use to clean tall buildings. Each kind of scaffold has pro’s and con’s, which is why different kinds of platforms are used for different tasks. OSHA has distinct requirements for scaffold construction and safety.
Many of the scaffolding injuries that we see involve scaffolding assembled for use in residential and small business construction environments by workers like masons, painters, and roofers. In a recent case, we assisted a roofer who fell when the scaffold he stood on was bumped by equipment at ground level causing the structure to collapse.
In addition to scaffolding injuries, we often deal with injuries involving ladders, particularly extension ladders. Extension ladders, also known as “portable ladders,” usually have two sections that operate in brackets, allowing for adjustable lengths in the ladder. Extension ladders are not self-supporting, so they require a stable structure that can withstand the intended load.
Extension ladders can pose a serious risk of injury when they are misused or used improperly. For example, exceeding an extension ladder weight restriction can lead to injury. The same is true for extending a ladder beyond its rated reach. Additionally, failing to secure a ladder as intended by the manufacturer can make the product dangerous to use.
We recently assisted the widow of a painter who fell painting a barn when the ladder he was using shifted because of soil compaction at the foot of the ladder.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding or ladder accident, it’s important to contact an attorney who can help sort out potential
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.