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Falls from Stepladders May Be Caused by Ladder Defects

February 28, 2012

While virtually every household in Georgia has one or more type of ladders, few people consider the danger of a potential fall from a ladder, even a simple stepladder. More than 220,000 people per year visit hospital emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in falls from ladders. Falls from ladders can lead to catastrophic injuries including permanent spinal cord injuries and serious head injuries that result in brain damage. Something as simple as standing on a stepstool to change a light bulb can result in devastating permanent injuries.

Many times ladder fall accidents are the result of poorly designed or defective ladders or ladders that lack sufficient warnings regarding proper use to avoid falls. A new study identifies poor design as a key issue that causes stepladder accidents that send over 180,000 people to hospital emergency rooms annually. The study conducted by human factors and ergonomics experts Daniel Tichon, Lowell Baker, and Irving Ojalvo identifies a number of potential design factors that make stepladder accidents more common.

The factors identified by the study include the fact that a stepladder has a smaller and less rigid surface upon which those using it stand and have narrow steps so that users are prone to lose their balance and fall. Most stepladders provide nothing for a user to hold on to for balance and no way to step so that a user can regain their balance. If the user of a stepladder is holding objects, it makes it even more difficult for the user to grab on to a wall or other surface to regain their balance. The researchers propose some basic design modifications that might reduce the number of stepladder accidents. The stepladder could be made more rigid providing a more stable work platform. The study authors also suggest rails with closed tubular sections and cross-shaped spreader bars.

Falls from ladders, even stepladders, can be extremely dangerous. A person injured in a fall from a defective stepladder that lacks basic safety precautions may have a legal basis to file a product liability lawsuit. If your fall from a ladder was caused by the negligence of others that caused the ladder to tip or become unstable, they might be liable for your personal injuries. Anyone who suffers injuries in a fall from a stepladder may have a right to recover damages for lost income, pain and suffering, medical and rehabilitative costs, permanent disability, disfigurement, loss of companionship of a spouse, funeral expenses (wrongful death) and other damages depending on the case.

Our Atlanta defective ladder accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.