Introduction

The use of portable ladders, often used in domestic and construction environments, are a surprisingly common cause of injury and death. Each year there are thousands of fractures that occur from falls off ladders, each requiring several days in hospital. The elderly are particularly vulnerable as many of these falls occur at home. Statistics indicate that ladder-related injuries are increasing.

In the workplace, occupational health and safety regulations have been refined over time in the use of ladders. Non-metallic, non-conducting (e.g. fibreglass) ladders should be used when performing electrical work, and step-ladders with platforms and trestle tables should always be preferred over conventional extendable ladders. In all cases, workers should never step above the second tread from the top, as sideways slippages are the most common cause of accident. As a rule of thumb, one’s belt-buckle should remain within the ladders upper styles, and a second person should be present to maintain stability for high work over two metres from the ground. Three points of contact should be maintained when on a ladder (ideally two legs and one arm).

Worksafe Australia has developed a National Code of Practice to prevent falls in the construction industry (see Relevant Articles).

There are many types of ladders:

  • Simple fixed ladders – usually limited to a few metres in length
  • Extension ladders
  • Step-ladders that may or may not have platforms and a guard rail (these should have lockable spreader bars to prevent slippage)
  • Dual purpose ladders where step-ladders can be converted into extension ladders
  • Platform or podium ladders

Ladders are typically manufactured from aluminium, timber or fibreglass.

At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget.

Expertise in Action

Experts working in this field are essential in the many cases of ladder accidents and deaths that occur on construction sites, factory premises and domestic use. They are able to provide expert opinion on a variety of issues including:

  • Was the ladder defective?
  • Was there negligence in the operation of the ladder?
  • Were correct safety standards followed?
  • Was there a failure in the management and supervision of the ladders?

Experts can provide opinion in legal cases related to workers compensation, employee or contractor safety, the drafting of regulations, ladder engineering defects and accident investigation.

Sample Reports

For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.

Cost

The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:

  • The need for a view or inspection of a location
  • The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
  • Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
  • Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Relevant Articles National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Falls in General Construction

The Code provides guidance on adopting a risk management approach to fall prevention for working at heights of less than 2 metres, as well as guidance on risk assessment processes, preparation of Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) and examples of physical fall prevention measures that are required when working at heights of 2 metres and above, so far as is reasonably practicable.

Ladder-related fall injuries

A summary of ladder-related fall injuries, broken up into categories of victims and severity of injury.

Falls from ladders in Australia: comparing occupational and non‐occupational injuries across age groups

This study demonstrates the significant burden that ladder‐related falls are continuing to have on the community, both in the occupational and domestic setting.

Relevant Cases Mackie v Central Coast Leagues Club Limited [2010] NSWSC 960

The defendant was found not guilty of negligence in providing a Tallescope ladder. The plaintiff failed to heed the warnings that the ladder locks need to be secured. Both sides employed the use of experts in the use of ladders.

Related Blog Articles

Profiles of Experts in Engineering - Ladders

Below are short profiles of a few experts with expertise in this field. Please contact our office to discuss your specific requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget. Expert Experts are experts in finding the right expert for your needs and you pay no more to use Expert Experts than if you searched and found the expert yourself.

Contact us at answers@expertexperts.com.au or give us a call 1300 72 66 55

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