Common Causes of Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents


  • Over 22,000 people are injured annually in ladder accidents, with scaffolding causing 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths.
  • Common ladder accident causes include missing the last step, overreaching, using the wrong-sized ladder, unstable ground, and not maintaining three points of contact.
  • Scaffolding accidents often result from planking or support failure, slipping, lack of fall protection, being hit by falling objects, and safety standard violations.
  • Injuries from these accidents range from traumatic brain injuries to paralysis, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, severe lacerations, and more.
  • To file a workers’ compensation claim, report the injury within 30 days, and your employer should notify their insurance within 7 days; seek legal help if there are issues with the claim.

In the workplace, all types of hazards can cause accidents and injuries. Ladders and scaffolding are particularly known for the injuries they cause—so much so that there’s even a National Ladder Safety Month to help prevent these kinds of injuries.

In a year, more than 22,000 people are injured on ladders. In 2020, 161 people suffered a fatal injury while using a ladder. Scaffolding is slightly less dangerous, causing 4,500 injuries every year and 50 deaths.

If you’ve been involved in a ladder or scaffolding accident, you may be able to receive compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim. At Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia, we are dedicated to helping workers recover full and fair compensation for their damages. To learn more, contact us online or at (800) 320-HELP.

Common Causes of Ladder Accidents

Ladders are commonly used by construction workers, electricians, plumbers, warehouse workers, landscapers, painters, masons, and more. However, ladders may also be used by less-trained individuals, like retail workers.

Accidents can happen to anyone at any time but may occur more frequently when employees aren’t properly trained in ladder safety. Broken or rusted ladders also contribute to more frequently occurring accidents.

Other causes of ladder accidents include:

  • Missing the last step when climbing down
  • Overreaching
  • Using the wrong-sized ladder for the job
  • Not using the ladder on solid, firm ground
  • Failing to use three points of contact

Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents

Falls from scaffolding account for about 25% of fatal falls from all working surfaces. Because scaffolding is often much higher than a typical ladder, these types of injuries can be much more severe. In fact, one of the most common injuries caused by scaffolding accidents is traumatic brain injuries.

Types of Scaffolding Injuries

Like ladder accidents, scaffolding accidents may also occur because of a lack of training or defects. However, most commonly, scaffolding accidents are caused by the following:

  • Planking or support giving way
  • Slipping on a mess or spill
  • Lacking fall protection
  • Being struck by a falling object
  • Violation of safety standards
  • Dangerous working conditions

Types of Injuries Caused by Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents

Ladder and scaffolding accidents can result in minor to severe injuries or even death. Oftentimes, the higher a worker is from the ground, the more severe the injury they’re likely to incur will be.

Common injuries resulting from ladder and scaffolding accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Neck injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Soft tissue damage

Whether you’re left with a minor injury or a severe, life-changing one, you deserve to get the compensation you deserve for your damages. Even minor injuries can affect your quality of life, leaving you with large medical bills, lost wages, chronic pain, and more.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Ladder or Scaffolding Accident

To file a workers’ compensation claim, you must work for a company that carries this type of insurance. If you’re an independent contractor or freelance worker, this insurance will not be available to you.

If you are a full-time employee of a company, you will likely be able to file a claim with your employer. To do this, you’ll have to alert your employer of your injury within 30 days (in most states).

Your employer will then have 7 days to alert the insurance company of your injury. If your employer fails to report your injury or you’re struggling to receive adequate compensation for your injuries, it may be time to speak with a lawyer.

How Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia Can Help Victims of Workplace Injuries

Unfortunately, insurance companies often don’t have your best interest in mind. More often than not, they will try to shortchange you—giving you less money than you deserve for the injuries you’ve experienced and damages you’ve incurred.

By working with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, you can feel secure knowing that someone is advocating for your best interest. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will make sure that the insurance company cannot deny your claim. They’ll also ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your damages.

Contact Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia to Speak with an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney ASAP

To learn more about filing a claim for your ladder and scaffolding accident injury, please contact our experienced team of worker’s compensation attorneys. You can contact us online or by calling at (800) 320-HELP.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do immediately following a ladder or scaffolding accident work?

Immediately following any workplace injury, you should seek medical attention and alert your employer of the accident. Afterward, you’ll be directed to contact the insurance company to start the process of filing your claim.

How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim after an accident?

In most states, you have 30 days to report your claim from the date of injury. Your employer has 7 days to report your injury to their insurance company.

What types of compensation are available for ladder and scaffolding accident victims?

If you’ve experienced a ladder and scaffolding accident, you may be able to receive compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, disability, and more. To learn more about the damages you could recover, speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately.

How can a lawyer help if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you can work with an attorney to submit an appeal. This may include providing additional information or evidence.

No Win, No Fee Commitment

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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