Understanding risks, prevention, and compensation for fatal ladder accidents in construction.
The statistics are alarming. In New York construction, 1 in 3 worker deaths are related to falls, with ladders being involved in approximately 24% of falling deaths.
Roofers, in particular, face the highest risk, with 10 times the rate of fatal falls compared to other construction occupations combined. In New York City construction accidents, fatal falls are more likely to occur at heights of 30 feet or more or between 11 and 15 feet. However, even falls from relatively low elevations (5 feet or less) can prove deadly, accounting for approximately 8% of fatal falls on construction sites.
Tragically, many of these accidents can be prevented. Employers must prioritize comprehensive training programs that educate workers on ladder safety, including correct positioning, securing, and maintenance of ladders. Providing workers with training on the proper usage of ladders, implementing safety protocols, and fostering a culture of worker safety can help reduce fatal ladder accidents.
If you have been injured in a ladder accident, it's essential to understand your rights and the available compensation. New York employers have a duty to ensure safe and well-maintained ladders. When they don't and someone is injured or dies as a result, a construction accident lawyer can help the victims demand justice and accountability.
How ladder falls happen at NY worksites
Ladder accidents can occur due to various reasons, including:
- Unstable or uneven surfaces.
- Misuse of ladders for purposes they were not designed for.
- Overloading ladders beyond their capacity.
- Slippery surfaces caused by oil or grease.
- Placement of ladders in areas prone to movement or interference by other workers.
- Defective or improperly constructed ladders.
- Exposure of conductive rails to electricity.
Tips to avoid ladder falls
Employers in the construction industry must prioritize fall prevention and dedicate resources to ladder safety on construction sites due to legal compliance requirements.
The benefits are worker safety, reduced workers' compensation costs, and sustained productivity. To minimize risks to workers on ladders, follow these tips recommended by the New York State Department of Health:
- Select the appropriate ladder for the job.
- Establish a protective work area using cones or barriers.
- Secure the ladder at the base and extend it at least 3 feet above the upper landing surface.
- Face the ladder while climbing, always maintaining three points of contact.
- Regularly inspect the ladder for any signs of damage or loose components.
- Maintain a safe distance from the ladder while using it.
- Check the weather conditions and avoid using ladders during wet or icy conditions.
- Position the ladder close to the work area to prevent overreaching.
Injured construction worker benefits and compensation
Even with following best practices for ladder safety, NYC construction accidents can still happen. New York Labor Law section 240(1) holds contractors and owners responsible for providing proper protection to employees by furnishing proper ladders. If a violation of this law leads to a construction worker's injury, the contractor or owner can be held liable for the damages.
An experienced construction accident attorney who knows your rights
At Keogh Crispi, P.C., we understand the devastating consequences of ladder accidents in construction work. We are dedicated to helping injured New York construction workers and their families seek justice and obtain the compensation they deserve.
Our recent case results include recovering $1.2 million for a plumber who suffered injuries from a ladder accident in Brooklyn. We also recovered $475,000 for an electrical apprentice injured in a ladder accident at a commercial building renovation site in Brooklyn.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a construction accident, contact us today for a free consultation.