DID YOU KNOW?
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 fall injuries (LFIs) resulted in 113 fatalities (0.09 per 100,000 full-time equivalent [FTE] workers), an estimated 15,460 nonfatal injuries reported by employers that involved more than 1 day away from work (DAFW) and an estimated 34,000 nonfatal injuries treated in emergency rooms. Rates for nonfatal, work-related, emergency room-treated LFIs were higher (2.6 per 10,000 FTE) than those for such injuries reported by employers (1.2 per 10,000 FTE).
“LFIs represent a substantial public health burden of preventable injuries for workers,” noted the researchers.
According to the study:
- Men and Hispanics had higher rates of fatal and nonfatal LFIs compared with women and non-Hispanic whites and workers of other races/ethnicities.
- LFI rates increased with age, except for injuries treated in emergency rooms.
- Fatality rates were substantially higher for self-employed workers (0.30 per 100,000 FTE workers) than salary/wage workers (0.06 per 100,000 FTE workers).
- Companies with the fewest employees had the highest fatality rates.
- The construction industry had the highest LFI rates compared with all other industries.
Across all industries, the highest fatal and nonfatal LFI rates were in the following two occupation groups: construction and extraction (e.g., mining) occupations, followed by installation, maintenance and repair occupations.
Head injuries were implicated in about half of fatal injuries (49 percent), whereas most nonfatal injuries involved the upper and lower extremities for employer-reported and emergency room-treated nonfatal injuries.
Ladder safety at Anniston Army Depot is the responsibility of every employee who comes into contact with them — from the supervisor or designated safety monitor, who performs a formal, documented annual inspection, to the worker who inspects the ladder for functionality and evidence of damage before each use.
Falls are a leading cause of injury and death at home and in the workplace. Nearly half of those deadly falls have been from ladders.
In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was determined that 43 percent of fatal falls over the last decade involved a ladder.
According to the study:
Across all industries, the highest fatal and non-fatal ladder related injuries were in construction and mining related occupations, followed by installation, maintenance and repair occupations.
- Head injuries were implicated in about half of the fatal injuries.
- Fatality rates were substantially higher for self-employed workers than salary/wage workers.
Another study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission showed some startling statistics concerning the frequency and severity of ladder-related accidents in the United States.
- More than 90,000 people receive emergency room treatment from ladder-related injuries every year.
- Elevated falls account for almost 700 occupational deaths annually.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50 percent of all ladder-related accidents were due to individuals carrying items as they climbed.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration believes 100 percent of all ladder accidents could be prevented if proper attention to equipment and climber training were provided.
Some important takeaways from these studies are that larger companies with more employees and a higher level of training have lower instances of ladder-related injuries.
Also, OSHA believes that, with proper training and equipment selection, 100 percent of ladder-related accidents can be prevented.