Ladder Accidents: What Every Construction Worker Should Know

A ladder fall for a construction worker can lead to serious injuries. A fall from a ladder - - one of the most common construction accidents - - can cause brain injury, broken bones, spine injuries, paralysis and even death. These severe injuries can take a away a worker's ability to earn money, create piles of costly medical bills and rob the worker of his enjoyment of life and passions. Ladder fall victims need to understand their rights under the law, and the only way to learn is to speak with a qualified and experienced construction accident personal injury law firm.

There are many rules and regulations in New York that dictate proper ladder safety, including OSHA regulations and those contained in the New York State "Industrial Code". For example, the Industrial Code generally requires that when work is being performed on an extension ladder higher than 10 feet above the ground, that ladder must be secured at both its upper and lower end. Another rule sets forth specific guidelines for the dimensions of wooden ladder rungs, including their proper diameter and spacing. These are just two of many specific regulations that govern contractors in New York and are in place to create a safe environment for workers.

Other laws, such as New York Labor Law Section 240(1), also often apply to ladder safety. The law, which protects certain workers who are hurt after falls, requires construction site owners and general contractors to provide proper protection to workers who are required to work from ladders. When a ladder breaks or collapses, the owner and general contractor are often responsible for all resulting injuries under the law, regardless of whether they had any knowledge of the defect. Sometimes, an injured worker can recover even if the ladder involved in his/her accident was not defective at all. This is because the ladder, although structurally sound, may have been unsupported or may have been the wrong safety device all together. For example, when workers are performing heavy, overhead work with their hands, it is often entirely inappropriate to use a ladder of any kind. In that scenario, a more stable and guarded platform, such as a scaffold or man-lift, is typically safer. Only an experienced law firm can analyze the facts of a ladder fall properly, identify any safety violations that were committed and hold the responsible parties fully accountable for the injuries they caused.

Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP is a New York personal injury law firm that has a specialty in representing injured construction workers. The firm has handled a great number of ladder fall cases over the years, and with great success. The firm's record of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements is a result of the firm's extension knowledge of the laws the apply to ladder fall accidents, and its ability to effectively investigate and prove any and all violations of proper ladder safety. For example, Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP secured a $5,900,000 settlement for a union bricklayer who was disconnecting a hose while standing on a ladder that suddenly slid out from underneath him and caused him to fall, injuring his wrist, head and spine. The firm argued that the ladder was not properly secured, and the result insured that the bricklayer and his family will never have financial concerns again.

Another ladder fall case handled by Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP resulted in a $5,500,000 settlement for a 40 year old electrician, who fell from an aluminum extension ladder after receiving an electric shock. The firm argued, on the worker's behalf, that the ladder was not proper for the electric work involved because it was conductive, and that a fiberglass ladder, scaffold or man-lift would have been more appropriate. The construction site owner defended the case vigorously, but Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP prevailed through hard work and determination, securing a settlement that provided comfort to its disabled client and sent a strong message to the owner that they will pay a heavy price for taking shortcuts on worker safety.

Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP has resolved many multi-million dollar cases on behalf of injured construction workers. The firm takes great pride in helping injured workers and their families, and its combination of compassion, skill and hard work has proven to be a very successful formula for its clients. If you want to learn more about the ladder accident attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy please review our firm website at If you or a loved one has been injured in a ladder accident, or any construction accident, please do not hesitate and call the lawyers of Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP today for a FREE consultation at 212-736-5300.

For some videos that will be of assistance to any ladder accident victim, please watch these.