Construction Accidents In New York: Preventing Ladder Accidents


As Construction Accident Attorneys in New York City, We see may different causes, but ladder accidents are significant. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission there are over 164,000 visits to emergency rooms annually caused by ladder accidents.  Other sources quotes figures of over 500,000 such visits each year.
In an effort to make everyone aware of the root causes for these many injuries, here is a list of the most frequent reasons ladders cause accidents, in order of  frequency:

–Forgetting the rung position on the ladder while descending;
–Carrying materials while ascending or descending the ladder;
–Climbing without three points of contact on the ladder;
–Choosing the wrong ladder for a task;
–Not securing the ladder base to secure footing;
–Positioning the ladder on unstable surfaces;
–Working outside the ladder footprint;

Please pay careful attention to these cautionary tales of ladder accidents. We have helped many people recover substantial amounts after being injured in construction accidents, but no amount can make up for the loss of life or limb. Ladder Accidents Are Too Common. Don’t Allow yourself to be a victim. If you have been, consult an experienced attorney.


Extension Ladder Accidents in New York

Ladder Accidents on Work/Construction sites

One of the most prevalent types of accidents  in the repair or construction of structures involves the use of ladders.   Aside from the commonly perceived ladder accident where a ladder that is unevenly balanced then falls, or a step on the ladder gives way, there is a far more dangerous and deadly type of accident.  These involve the use of metal, most usually aluminum, ladders. As a Construction Accident Attorney in New York City, we see these injuries way too often.

The National Electrical Safety Code requires a minimum clearance of 18.5 feet from a high voltage power line to the ground.  Home improvement stores sell aluminum or fiberglass (and perhaps wooden) ladders.  The aluminum ladders are generally somewhat less expensive and weigh less than the fiberglass counterpart.   When not extended, these ladders are often as much as twenty (20) feet, and can extend to as much as forty (40) feet.

Several workers are killed each year by electrocution while utilizing aluminum ladders. They saved money on the purchase of the ladder, it was less cumbersome to carry and move, and these “benefits” cost them their lives.  Many more suffer life altering disabilities.

The danger to the worker usually occurs while the ladder is being erected, lowered or moved by the worker.  The worker has to shift his work spot, he moves the extended ladder, a tree may partially hide a power line, the wind is blowing, the aluminum ladder comes into contact with the power line while it is held by the worker–electrocution results!

Certainly in New York State, an employer has a statutory duty to provide safe equipment for their workers.  Can providing aluminum ladders be deemed safe–particularly in areas where overhead high voltage power lines exist?