Ladders present a high risk of worker injury
Different professions all entail different risks to workers, but some types of injuries are more common than others. One of the biggest causes of workplace injuries is falling from height, or more specifically, from a ladder. This is a particularly big problem in sectors such as construction, so if you work in this industry, it's important to understand the risks and your rights to compensation.
Ladders are a big cause of injury and fatality in Australia
A report from Safe Work Australia reveals there were a total of 37 worker fatalities that resulted from falling off a ladder in the period between 2003 and 2011. Around 33 per cent of these incidents occurred on construction sites, and this does not include all the people that were injured, but not killed. The risk increases with age, the report finding that the largest portion of fatalities involved men over the age of 65. Worryingly, the number of fatalities appears to be increasing, with 23 fatalities occurring between 2008 and 2011, up from 14 in the period between 2003 and 2007.
However, it's not just the number of fatal incidents that is cause for concern, but the outcomes of non-fatal injuries. According to a report from Alfred hospital, published in the Injury Journal, only 46 per cent of patient that survived a fall from a ladder were able to return to normal, unassisted lives in the 12 months following.
I fell off a ladder at work, what should I do?
With injuries caused by falling from a ladder being such a common issue in certain workplaces, it's important that employees know where they stand in the eyes of the law. While the employer is responsible for making work environments as safe as possible and workers should practice their own due diligence in turn, it's impossible to control all the conditions.
If you are injured falling off a ladder, you can apply for workers compensation to get reimbursed for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, suffering and more. In Australia it's not necessary to determine fault in order to get compensation. After the incident, make sure you notify you employer, get a medical certificate from a doctor and complete a claim form.
When applying for workers compensation, having a legal professional take care of the process for you can minimise the stress and allow you to focus on recovery instead. To find out more about how we can help, contact Marshall and Gibson Lawyers today.