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The risks of ladder falls and subsequent injuries

Minnesota construction workers face many physical risks when on the job. However, not every source of injury is specific to the industry. In fact, ladders pose one of the biggest safety threats. Ladder falls are hugely damaging in more ways than one, and can permanently alter a workers' life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that falls are one of the highest causes of unintentional injury mortality. 43% of those falls are from ladders among the general populace. However, 81% of the fall injuries construction workers suffer from involve ladders.

Ladder falls can result in numerous injuries including ones that have a straightforward healing process, such as broken or fractured bones. However, some of the more severe injuries can include brain damage from head trauma or paralysis from damage to the spine and spinal cord. These injuries can take months or years to heal from. In some cases, the damage is never fully repaired.

Safety+Health Magazine states that there are ways to lower the chances of a ladder fall happening. This includes taking more safety precautions, following the safety measures that are already set, and ensuring that these precautions are up to date with the most recent standards. All equipment should also be checked thoroughly before use. Proper safety gear should be worn, including helmets. A worker should also always have at least one other person present to help hold the ladder steady and immediately call for help in the case of an emergency.

In some working environments, these safety standards are not up to par or are absent entirely. In situations like that, incidents involving ladders can occur with greater frequency, leading to more workers suffering from fall-related injuries.

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