Tag Archives: slips trips and falls

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ladder safety

Ladder Safety Learned The Hard Way

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Homeowner Falls Off Ladder.

This is a story about ladder safety, one of the most dangerous hazards people encounter on a regular basis.  This Illinois homeowner set up a ladder and was attempting to get on his roof in November to blow leaves off the roof.  He recently had new concrete poured on his patio.  He set up his ladder on the new, smooth concrete and rested the ladder against his gutter.  The temperature outside was around 30 degrees.  The homeowner strapped his gas-powered blower to his back, grabbed the hose with one hand and started up the ladder.  As he reached the roof edge, he started stepping from the ladder to the roof.  Just as he took his first step onto the roof, the ladder slid out from under him, causing him to fall approximately 10 feet to the ground below.  The ladder lost traction on the ground because conditions were icy and the base pads of the ladder were plastic. 

His wife, an ER nurse who happened to be home heard the fall and came to his aid and called an ambulance to take him to the hospital.  The homeowner suffered a broken wrist and a broken arm, each requiring screws and plates to aid in realigning the bones.  He was out of work for four months and needed six months of physical therapy.  He learned an important lesson about how dangerous ladders can be.

WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY?

•  The homeowner should have made sure his ladder was set up on a stable surface and that it was set up at a proper angle so it couldn’t slide out from under him.

•  He also could have taken more care in carrying his blower up the ladder so it didn’t cause him to lose his balance.

HOW DOES LADDER SAFETY RELATE TO OUR WORK?

•  Always set up ladders on solid, level, stable ground.

•  Inspect the ladder, rungs and rails for damage before climbing.

•  Let someone know you’ll be using a ladder to work on your roof or gutters.

•  Make sure ladders are set up at the proper angle so they can’t slide out
from under you.  Extend the ladder at least 3 feet above the roof line, or landing edge.

•  Always maintain three points of contact when on a ladder (i.e. two hands
and one foot or two feet and one hand).

•  Do not climb with tools in hand—use a tool belt.

•  Don’t overreach or stretch too far as this could cause the ladder to tip —
reposition the ladder closer to the work instead.

•  Think about ladder safety as you plan your task.  Take precautions to eliminate risks.

While this homeowner was unlucky to have fallen off his ladder, he was also lucky to have survived a fall from such a height.  Unfortunately, too many people are killed every year from falling off ladders.


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Slips, trips and falls safety

Tennis Player Slips and Falls in Locker-Room

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Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 9 million visits to hospital emergency rooms every year (National Safety Council Injury Facts).

In 2015, professional Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard sued the United States Tennis Association after falling on a ‘slippery, foreign and dangerous substance’. The 21-year-old sustained a concussion after slipping and falling backwards injuring her head and elbow in a dark physiotherapy room at the 2015 US Open and is claiming negligence. The lawsuit was filed because of her fall in the locker-room at Flushing Meadows, New York on September 4, when she sustained a severe head injury that continues to hinder her ability to play tennis. Ms. Bouchard says that the cause of her fall – that occurred around midnight after she had completed a mixed-doubles match and then met with the media—was a “slippery, foreign and dangerous substance” that had been left on the floor of the locker-room. The substance involved was not specified in the court papers. The substance was used to clean the floors but was not supposed to be present while players were still using the facilities. Ms. Bouchard was forced to pull out of the U.S. Open and continued to struggle during the 2015 season with dizziness and light sensitivity. Her lawyer believes the lawsuit could be worth millions of dollars because the incident has affected her ability to compete as well as her world ranking.

What Should Have Been Done Differently?
In this case, the locker-room attendant should have verified that all players were done using the locker-room at the end of the day’s matches before beginning to clean the floor. And, the attendant should not have turned the lights off in the locker-room until they were certain no other people would be entering.


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