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Falling from ladders has long-lasting consequences for older workers

Philadelphia workers' compensation

As reported by ScienceDaily, a first-of-its-kind study sheds light on the psychological effects of falling from a ladder. It found that the mental well-being of more than half of victims is impacted at least six months after an accident. Scientists say the problem is particularly long-lasting for men 55 and older.

Researchers at the University of Queensland said ladder fall victims experienced a range of issues that can have a negative impact on their daily lives and relationships. Among them are:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Pain

These problems can also spill over into the workplace and lead to issues such as fatigue, which lead to further accidents on the job.

Overall, patients spent an average of five days in the hospital recovering from their physical injuries. They include:

  • Spinal fractures
  • Rib fractures
  • Tibia or fibula fractures
  • Radius or ulna fractures
  • Pelvic fractures
  • Collapsed lungs

The majority of injuries observed in this study occurred during home maintenance, not on the job. Still, the study found 80 percent of victims missed four weeks of work, while 16 percent could either not return to work or perform regular functions after six months, both of which can have a profound impact on mental well-being. Recovery was determined through the Assessment of Quality of Life scale.

Accidents involving ladders often occur in retail, construction, maintenance, warehousing, and other industries where ladders are used.

Addressing the danger of ladder accidents

Researchers said most ladder accidents are preventable by employing simple safety standards. They called for mandated safety instructions for ladders and safety features that include rubber feet, hooks, extender arms, fasteners and stabilizers.

Noting that older men are most often the victims, they said the men should receive specialized instruction when they purchase ladders. Besides education, researchers noted men should be reminded that it is sometimes best for their health to request help when working with ladders or to employ professional home service contractors for house projects that require the use of ladders.

A simple accident with complex consequences

If you have been injured in a fall from a ladder on the job, not all of your injuries are as obvious as a cast on your arm or leg. Because you may suffer severe psychological after-effects, some people are going to doubt you. Your employer may pressure you to return to work before you are ready.

An insurance company, employing its own doctors, may raise questions about your motivations for needing a longer recovery period. You can turn to workers’ compensation or Social Security disability, but they are complex processes that often seem designed for the sole purpose of frustrating you, instead of serving your best interests.

The Law Offices of Richard A. Jaffe, LLC have been handling workers’ compensation and Social Security disability cases like yours in the greater Philadelphia area for more than 30 years. Richard A. Jaffe has the knowledge, experience and record of success that you want on your side. He can help you seek justice and fair financial compensation.

He accepts cases on a contingency basis, meaning he collects no money unless you win. With nothing to lose, contact his office today for a free consultation.

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