A ladder is a device designed for climbing that has two long side pieces joined at specific intervals by rungs or steps.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 164,000 emergency room treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. each year that are caused by falls from ladders.  The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons places the number of people treated for ladder-related injuries much higher at approximately 500,000 a year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of deadly falls have bee from ladders.  Among workers, approximately 20 percent of fall injuries involve ladders and among construction workers, an estimated 81 percent of fall injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involve a ladder.

In 2011, work-related ladder falls resulted in 113 fatalities and another 34,000 non-fatal injuries treated in emergency rooms.

Most ladders are heavy and not easily positioned.  Ladder injuries can include:

  • Losing one’s balance
  • Mis-stepping while going up or down the ladder
  • Mounting or dismounting the ladder improperly
  • Failing to set up the ladder properly
  • Leaving a ladder unattended
  • Ladder falling on someone causing injury

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) believes that 100% of all ladder-related accidents could be prevented if proper attention to equipment and climber training were provided.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of all ladder-related accidents were due to individuals carrying items as they climbed.

OSHA has provided specific regulations regarding ladders to help decrease accidents involving ladders.  Those regulations relate to the following topics:

  • The loads a ladder must support without failure
  • Ladder rungs, cleats or steps
  • Ladder safety devices
  • Use of ladders
  • Maintenance of ladders
  • Movement of ladders
  • Inspection of ladders
  • Repair of ladders
  • Carrying objects while using a ladder

In Louisiana, Civil Code Articles 2317 and 2317.1 provides that an owner or custodian of a thing (like a ladder) is responsible for the damage occasioned by its ruin, vice or defect if he knew or should have known of that condition and the defect could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care.

The Cochran Firm New Orleans attorneys have experience in handling catastrophic injuries suffered from ladder falls and injuries.  We know the experts to utilize to prove these cases and maximize recovery.