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The risk factors seafarers face with ladder use

| May 15, 2020 | Maritime Law |

When it comes to work on a ship, there is a lot of climbing involved for some seafarers. On board a vessel, ladders are necessities. Many workers have to use them daily. While ladders are useful tools, they are also a common scene for accidents. Ladder accidents tend to have multiple factors, not to mention, the severity of the injury has its own risk factors. 

Ladder accident causes 

In 2016, the American Ladder institute noted that missing the last step and overreaching were the most common causes of ladder accidents. When using a ladder, the person should always use three points of contact. There should be two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand present on the ladder at all times. A person’s center of gravity should always be between the rails. Workers should never overreach! 

Additionally, many people miss the last step when climbing down. It is important that anyone using a ladder faces it at all times and practices careful climbing on those last steps. 

Ladder injury risks 

According to the Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, the height of the fall may matter less than the age of the person who suffers the fall. Of those who suffer injuries after a fall from a ladder, their average age is 55 years old. The older the patient, the lower the mean fall height is and the more severe the injury may be. 

For those who are over the age of 66, they are more likely to experience truncal injuries or traumatic brain injuries. Older seafarers are more vulnerable than other members of the population are.