Laborer Injured in a Fall When a Portable Platform Ladder Overturned – Massachusetts
Massachusetts Case Report: 16MA032
Release Date: December 4, 2017
On December 12, 2015 a 68-year-old male senior laborer (victim) was seriously injured in a fall while working from a platform ladder. The victim, employed by a municipality, and a co-worker were dusting crown molding in a meeting room inside city hall. The victim had finished dusting a section of molding and the ladder needed to be moved to continue the task. The co-worker started to move the ladder while the victim remained standing on the ladder’s platform. When the co-worker was engaging the ladder’s wheels, the ladder shifted and started to tip. The co-worker tried to stop the ladder from tipping, but could not, and both the ladder and the victim fell. The co-worker then placed a call for emergency medical services (EMS) and a call to his supervisor. EMS and local police arrived within minutes. The victim was transported to a local hospital and was eventually released, but he was paralyzed as a result of the incident. The victim died about six months after the incident from complications of the injuries he sustained during the incident.
Contributing factors identified in this investigation included: moving the ladder while a worker was standing on it; not using the ladder manufacturer-provided outriggers; lack of training on the ladder being used; and lack of a safety and health program.