Injuries caused by improper use/placement of support devices

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates are renowned leaders in workplace disability law. For over 20 years, we have successfully handled all types of work injury cases, including those involving falls from ladders and scaffolds. We provide effective legal service to workers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Improper Placement of Support Devices

Falls cost approximately $70 billion annually in workers’ compensation benefits. Each year, at least 600 workers die and more than 200,000 are injured after tumbling from support devices such as ladders and scaffolds. Serious falls from an elevated height often involve:

  • Utility poles
  • Extension rails
  • Skylights, fixtures
  • Balconies, roof tops
  • Holes, floor openings
  • Bridges, tanks, towers
  • Embankments, haystacks
  • Farm or industrial machinery
  • Structural frames, platforms
  • Transportation, motor vehicles

Although the construction industry experiences the highest frequency of falls, the logging and mining industries are also known for serious fall-related injuries and deaths. Most of these falls are caused by the improper use or placement of support devices. These mistakes may involve:

  • Glide locks
  • Caging systems
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Wrong incline angles
  • Cluttered workspaces
  • Misuse of fall protection
  • Unsafely positioned devices
  • Unstable or unprotected edges
  • Improper erection or dismantling

From overreaching and lost balance to tripping due to equipment failures, falls remain a leading cause of occupational injury and death in the United States. Proper training and compliance with safety measures in using the correct support devices are essential to preventing future falls.

Fall-Related Injuries at Work

Falls affect workers in all industries and occupations. From labor and construction to wholesale and retail, businesses depend on support structures to help workers carry out their duties. One slip-and-fall can keep employees out of work due to a variety of injuries, including:

  • Burns
  • Fractures
  • Contusions
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts, abrasions
  • Neck, back injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Severed limbs, loss of use
  • Permanent total impairment

Workers who fall due to improper use or placement of support devices are entitled to cash payments while out of work. In Massachusetts, employers and insurance companies are liable for paying workers’ compensation benefits after an injury, regardless of fault.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits are essential to paying an employee’s medical expenses and lost income after a disabling fall. Benefits are also available to surviving spouses and dependents if the fall was fatal. Massachusetts law provides a variety of workers’ compensation benefits for:

  • Partial disability
  • Permanent lost use
  • Permanent incapacity
  • Prescription medication
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Partial or total lost function
  • Reduced income due to injury
  • Surgical care, physical therapy
  • Permanent scarring, disfigurement

The amount of the award and its duration depend on the severity of the injury. Workers receive weekly cash payments or a lump-sum settlement based upon a calculated portion of their average weekly wage, plus annual cost-of-living increases in some instances. Benefits continue until the worker receives medical clearance for light duty, but may be extended if the disability persists.

Successfully Recovering Benefits

If you fell at work due to improper use of placement of a support device, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates can help. Our Boston office provides award-winning representation to injured workers in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth, and Merrimack counties as well as other areas in Massachusetts. Call (800) 367-0871 for a free consultation or contact us online.