Construction workers, electricians and interior decorators commonly use ladders as part of their work. While ladders are ergonomically designed and must undergo rigorous safety testing before being sold, they are unfortunately a common cause of workplace accidents.

More than 90,000 people receive emergency treatment each year for ladder-related injuries, and elevated falls lead to around 700 occupational deaths in the same time period. Ladder accidents are preventable, but they continue to cause workers unintended harm. The following are the most common causes of ladder accidents in the workplace.

Using an inappropriate ladder for the task

Not all ladders are equal. All ladders have a maximum weight capacity, and this should always be observed before use. The length of the ladder should also be observed since ladders that are too short for a particular task can be very dangerous.

Using ladders incorrectly

Many people use ladders in ways in which they were not intended, and they injure themselves as a result. They may try to reach for something while on the ladder, for example, and cause a weight imbalance that causes it to tip over.

Placing ladders improperly

Ladders should always be placed on level ground that is firm and not wet. It should not be placed in front of hazards such as doors or entrances. The feet of the ladder should also be well-maintained.

If you have been injured on a ladder fall while at work, you will likely be able to gain back damages by claiming workers’ compensation. If you make a claim in the appropriate time frame, you should have medical bills and some lost wages reimbursed.