Rules + Regs

Ladder use reduced as ladder-related injury numbers rise

As the number of ladder-related injuries in the workplace increases, companies are restricting ladder use and the ladder industry is offering new safety features.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), deaths involving ladders increased 29 percent between 2011 and 2015 to 157 deaths while the overall number of on-the-job fatalities increased 3 percent between 2011 and 2015 to 4,836. Additionally, ladder-related injuries serious enough to require an employee to miss at least one day of work increased 9 percent from 2011 to 2015, reaching 23,920. In 2015, ladder-related injuries caused workers to miss a median of 21 days from their jobs.

BLS also reports injury numbers are highest in the construction industry with 11.2 injured workers for every 10,000 employees, prompting companies to restrict ladder use. For example, some employers are implementing initiatives that involve looking for ways to eliminate the need for ladders or requiring workers to get written permission from supervisors before using a ladder.