Did you know falls are the leading cause of death in construction? While setting up and using a ladder may seem easy and like common sense, ladder accidents happen. In fact, 25 percent of all construction falls happen while using a ladder. Here is an unfortunate accident that happened in 2014.

The Facts

The Center for Construction Research and Training reported in January of 2014 the death of a 33-year-old window washer. The man climbed the six foot ladder and then tied a 5-gallon bucket to it. Instead of facing the ladder to wash the window, he had his back to the ladder. Since he and the bucket were both putting weight on on the top rungs, the ladder ended up flipping over. When paramedics arrived, the man was having a seizure, and he ended up dying at a local hospital.

Tips for Preventing Fatal Ladder Falls

This death could have been prevented if a few ladder safety guidelines had been followed. Here are a few things to do to prevent a ladder accident:

  1. -Have your company provide hands on ladder safety training
  2. -Also provide written safety materials
  3. The written materials should include some or all of the following information:
    • -Don’t put anything heavy on the top or side of a ladder
    • -Never stand on the top two rungs on an A-frame ladder and the top three rungs of an extension ladder
    • -Never overreach or lean
    • -Always face the ladder while climbing
    • -Follow the three points of contact ladder