Common Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents on Construction Sites

Common Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents on Construction Sites
Calendar icon December 27, 2023
Common Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents on Construction Sites


  • New York construction workers face elevated risks of severe injuries that result in permanent impairment due to ladder and scaffolding accidents.
  • More construction workers die from falling than any other kind of worksite accident. 
  • Non-union job sites show higher rates of fatalities, possibly due to less frequent inspections and limited training.
  • Ladder and scaffolding issues rank among the top OSHA violations, often resulting from reckless use of equipment or malfunctions of faulty equipment.
  • Construction workers are at risk of life-threatening injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and organ damage in ladder and scaffolding accidents.

New York construction workers regularly climb ladders or use scaffolding platforms to complete projects. Working from a greater height puts construction industry employees at an increased risk of severe injuries like compound fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. 

New Yorkers typically use the workers’ compensation process to address the financial costs of on-the-job construction injuries. At Cellino Law, our personal injury attorneys will take a results-driven approach to maximizing your compensation for your New York construction accident claim. Schedule a free consultation with us by calling (888) 888-8888 or filling out our online contact form.

The Dangers of Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents on Construction Sites 

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of fatal construction accidents. Over a third of fatal fall accidents on construction sites were falls from an elevated surface to a lower level. In addition to roof-related falls, construction workers commonly injure themselves by falling off ladders and scaffolding.

For example, ladder and scaffolding accidents can happen when a New York construction worker slips on a slick ladder rung or platform, gets struck by falling material and loses their balance, or reaches too far to one side of the ladder or scaffolding and tips over the edge. In 2022, New York State reported 16 fatal construction accidents involving falls

Of those incidents, 81% occurred on non-union job sites. Industry experts believe the higher rate of fatalities on non-union construction sites reflects less frequent inspections and limited training on fall prevention techniques. It may also be a symptom of non-union construction workers’ reticence to report safety issues.

Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents Are Often Related to OSHA Violations

Ladders and scaffolding issues were the third and fifth most commonly cited OSHA violations in fiscal year 2022, respectively. OSHA sets strict standards that dictate everything from the distance between ladder rungs to the amount of guardrail required on scaffolding platforms. 

When construction companies or employees fail to follow these guidelines and other safety practices, it can result in severe injuries. Common causes of ladder and scaffolding accidents on construction site accidents include:

  • Improper mounting or dismounting from a ladder or scaffold
  • Exceeding the weight limit of the ladder or scaffolding
  • Failure to use a personal fall arrest system
  • Damaged or defective equipment
  • Inadequate training or supervision
  • Joining two ladders together that are not designed to be connected
  • Failing to secure the ladder or scaffolding or positioning it on an uneven surface

Construction Workers Are at Risk of Sustaining Severe Injuries in Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents

Construction workers have less control over their landing when they fall from a higher level, such as off a ladder or scaffolding platform. As a result, they may be unable to avoid landing on a pile of sharp debris or material in the path of a vehicle or in a way that results in a catastrophic injury. Construction workers are also vulnerable to further injury if they strike another surface on their way down.

Examples of ladder and scaffolding accident injuries on construction sites include:

Your construction accident injuries may require you to take time away from work to recover and receive medical treatment. Workers’ compensation claims can help offset the financial costs of construction accident Injuries by covering a portion of your lost wages and medical bills. A construction accident attorney can offer valuable insight into navigating this process.

Choose the Seasoned Construction Site Attorneys of Cellino Law to Represent You

Injured workers have relied on the Cellino family to represent them for over 65 years because we are thorough investigators, straightforward communicators, and persistent negotiators. If you want a first-hand account of the level of service you can expect, we encourage you to check out our client testimonials. Our personal injury attorneys believe in going above and beyond.

Clients trust our construction accident lawyers to secure the results they need to rebuild their lives. As your representatives, we will take the time to answer your questions about the steps of the workers’ compensation process, what benefits you can claim, and what services we offer.

Contact Cellino Law About Your New York Construction Site Accident Lawsuit Today

Too often, a preventable ladder or scaffolding accident leaves a worker severely injured, preventing them from working just as their medical bills are piling up. Our expert team at Cellino Law has helped countless clients navigate this dilemma to recover the compensation they are entitled to receive. We will work relentlessly to secure the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.

Take advantage of a free consultation with one of our accomplished construction accident attorneys to learn more about your rights in the workers’ compensation claims process and the types of compensation available to you. You can schedule a free case evaluation with our team by giving us a call at (888) 888-8888 or completing our online contact form today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I file a personal injury claim against my employer after being injured in a ladder or scaffolding accident on a New York construction site?

Unless you have evidence that your employer was grossly negligent or committed an intentional tort, you are likely limited to filing a claim against their workers’ compensation policy to cover your losses. While this does bar you from recovering compensation for damages like pain and suffering, you are not required to prove they were at fault for your ladder and scaffolding accident.

How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim in New York?

Before you can become eligible to recover compensation, you need to report your construction accident injury to your employer. You have 30 days after your ladder and scaffolding accident to notify them that you were injured. New York requires employees to file workers’ compensation claims within two years of sustaining their on-the-job injury to recover compensation.

If my construction site accident was the result of a defective piece of equipment, can I file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer?

If a third party’s negligence caused your ladder or scaffolding accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages in a product liability claim against them. This could include the company that manufactured a defective ladder, harness, scaffolding platform, or guardrail.

To prove that the manufacturer is liable, you would need to show they breached their duty of care to you and that the malfunctioning of their faulty product caused your injuries. If you are considering pursuing this route to compensation, remember that the New York statute of limitations for personal injury claims requires you to take action within three years.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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