Unsecured Ladder Results in Serious Fall

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on January 10, 2022

Construction Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Arizona and involves a roofer working on a commercial construction project who suffered serious injuries while on the job. The roofer had been employed during construction of a new science center for a large academic institution, and had been on the job for several months without incident. Around the time of the incident in question, the Plaintiff and his team were instructed to perform work on a second-story roof that was to be covered in artificial terra cotta tiles. In order to access the roof, the workers had been using a 20-foot metal ladder in addition to man lifts. On one occasion, the Plaintiff was climbing the ladder to the roof when the ladder shifted, causing the man to fall at least 15 feet to the ground. As a result of the fall, the man is now paralyzed from the waist-down. It was claimed that the ladder was not properly secured at the time of the accident.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please discuss your background in setting safety protocols in a construction settings.
  • 2. Have you lectured or been published in this field?
  • 3. Has a similar incident occurred on a work-site at which you were responsible for safety?

Expert Witness Response E-016665

I have constructed in excess of $750 mil of commercial projects as CEO of my own construction firm, and as a hands-on operator in over 20 cities across the US, mostly for national retail accounts. Safety is paramount on every project. I have co-authored more than 50 pages for safety programs for major construction companies. I have literally walked thousands of job sites and participated in more than 50 safety walks. Moreover, I have developed forms relative to safety protocols, subcontractor safety warnings, and weekly safety meetings. I can come up with many reasons as to how the incident could have been avoided and who was at fault. At a glance, there was a clear oversight in failing to secure this ladder, since any ladder extended over a certain length must be secured in order to be safe to use – OSHA Safety and Health Regulations for Construction 1926.1053(b)(1) states “In no case shall the extension be such that ladder deflection under a load would, by itself, cause the ladder to slip off its support.” I am very familiar with construction law and construction attorneys, as well as the process of construction litigation generally. In any case, accidents of this nature are almost always preventable, and it seems that the construction firm was not adhering to proper standards of safety.

Contact this expert witness

Find a Construction Expert Witness Near You

What State is your case in?

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY