There are over a hundred thousand ladder accidents annually in the U.S. requiring hospital emergency room treatment. Our engineers have investigated well over a hundred ladder accidents, and Dr. Ojalvo is an active member of the national ANSI A-14 Ladder Standards committee.
Although many ladder-related injuries result from misuse, such as an improper extension ladder lean angle against a wall causing it to slip outward, the use of a damaged ladder, or failing to lock a step ladder’s spreaders, many ladder accidents occur due to design or manufacturing defects. Many stepladders ladders are excessively flexible, which can lead to falls due to a racking instability. Additionally, some extension ladders are equipped with poorly designed rung locks; both of these defects can cause climbers to fall. Other defects can be introduced during manufacturing, such as material flaws or improperly seated rivets. In addition, the fine-print warnings and instructions on most ladders are hard to read, or ignored by users.