September 30, 2013
Ladder Accidents in New York City
By Jonathan Damashek
When working at a construction site, you are constantly climbing up and down ladders in order to navigate the structure’s ever-changing environment as it’s being built. The project manager and your coworkers at the site have a responsibility to properly secure all the ladders in order to ensure that everyone is able to reach their work area safely. When they fail this critical safety feature, or when the ladders aren’t built properly, disaster often strikes. A ladder can slip, break, slide or otherwise fail to remain in place, causing you to fall and potentially suffer serious harm.
Ladders are used to help workers reach high heights, and are utilized by every type of tradesmen on a construction site. These vital parts of a construction site can be dangerous if not properly used, but most ladder-related accidents could have been prevented by proper usage and training. Specialized ladders can help achieve various heights and different jobs, furthermore along the worker to remain safe.
Thousands of people each year are injured from ladder falls, some workers are even killed from falls. There are ways to prevent these accidents though, and thoroughly checking a ladder before using it can help prevent serious injuries. Make sure that the ladder is in good operating condition and that it can support your weight capacity. If you are unsure of the height or weight capacity, it is important to ask your supervisor for assistance or to retrieve a different ladder for you.
Inspect your ladder prior to usage to make sure that no steps or rungs are broken or cracked, that all nails and bolts are properly in place and that there are no worn braces or missing feet. When you use the ladder, make sure that it is on a level, non-slip surface and it is fully open. Do not use a ladder in front of a door. It is recommended that you do not carry tools while climbing a ladder, but rather ask the person holding the bottom to hand them to you once you reach the top. Never use the top rung of a ladder either, this can make it uneven.
If you have been injured in a ladder-related construction accident, contact our New York City construction accident firm in order to discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury and obtain critical advice about pursuing legal action. We will pursue your case relentlessly in order to give you the best chance possible of getting fully compensated for your injuries and ongoing medical care. We have extensive experience with workers’ compensation cases like yours and will fight day and night on your behalf to obtain justice for your suffering.
Besides pursuing the standard workers’ compensation claim, we are also available to utilize section 240 of New York’s unique Labor Law. This protects all construction workers from dangerous and unsafe working conditions. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to take legal action against the property owner, general contractor or other entities responsible for your injuries.
Section 240 of the Labor Law provides special protection for workers who were injured in “gravity-related accidents,” such as falling from scaffolding, ladders or through an unprotected opening in the floor. If you have been injured while on a ladder at a construction site, don’t suffer in silence. Obtain seasoned legal counsel and fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact an attorney at our office today.