Falls from ladders continue to be a major cause of workplace injuries and deaths in New Jersey and NYC, despite the development of ladder safety guidelines and better equipment. Employers and businesses are responsible for providing safe working conditions for workers and others on a property, but nevertheless often fail to carry out that responsibility. Attorney Andrew R. Jacobs holds employers and manufacturers accountable for their failures to maintain workplace safety and provide safe equipment and working conditions for workers. In the event of a ladder-related accident on the job, he will fight to protect your interests in court and work to obtain maximum compensation for you and your family.
Factors Leading to Ladder Falls
While ladders have been used on construction sites in New Jersey and New York since before the founding of both states, ladders continue to present dangers for workers. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 43 percent of fatal falls in the last decade involved a ladder, and an estimated 81 percent of fall injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involved a ladder. In 2011 alone, 113 workers died on the job after falling off a ladder; 15,640 employees lost more than a day of work from fall injuries from a ladder; and around 34,000 workers had to go to an emergency room for treatment after being injured while using a ladder.
Workers in the construction industry suffer the highest rate of injury and death. The CDC study found that factors leading to ladder injuries and death included:
- Failure to reduce need for ladders by applying safer design and construction plans
- Lack of safer alternatives to ladders, such as aerial lifts, platforms, or scaffolds
- Failure to provide thoroughly inspected ladders, matched for the work and employee size
- Lack of supplementary safety equipment for ladder use
- Improper provision of safety information and training to employees
Employers are required by state and federal law to provide a safe working environment for their employees. The factors described above which contribute to worker injury all arise out of a motivation to cut corners and save time and money on the part of the employer. While the employer may cut costs in the short term by failing to provide proper equipment, training and construction designs, it is the workers who pay the price ultimately by suffering injuries and lost wages for their families.
The Rights of Injured Workers in New Jersey and New York
Workers who are injured, however, have a right to be compensated under the laws of New York and New Jersey, through workers’ compensation claims under certain circumstances through civil suits where an employer has acted recklessly or intentionally in causing the injury of an employee. In New York, the labor laws in fact make a contractor absolutely liable for injuries suffered by a worker on the job for an employer’s failure to prevent gravity-related falls, including ladder falls. This means that even if the worker was partially at fault in causing the injury, he or she still may be able to fully recover for the injuries suffered.
Contact Andrew R. Jacobs After a Ladder Fall in New Jersey or NYC
Navigating the legal system is difficult, and employers and their insurance carriers may do everything in their power to prevent you from collecting compensation or to pressure you to accept less compensation than you deserve. If you or a loved one have been involved in a ladder-related accident in New York or New Jersey, please contact the Law Offices of Andrew R. Jacobs to schedule a free consultation regarding your injuries and your options for recovery.