Climb Every Ladder

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Q: I am a journeyman plumber.  I was working at the construction site for a complex of medical suites.  My employer was the plumbing subcontractor.

My job was to install pipe hanger systems.  In order to perform this work, I would cut rods of pipe to the desired length, mount a six-foot wooden stepladder to screw the rods into clamps and tighten the clamps.  Afterwards, I would hang pipes from the rods.

At first, I was working in a hallway.  Then I came to an office suite.  The ceiling was higher.  I had to stand on the top cap of my ladder – using a wrench to tighten a clamp with my right hand and holding onto a rod with my left hand.  The wrench slipped.  I lost my balance.  The ladder moved.

A: Your employer will say that you knew that you needed a taller ladder, say eight-foot, in order to screw the rods into the clamps.  Were there eight-foot ladders on the job site?  Did you know this?  Did you know where they were stored?  Were you permitted to help yourself to tools without asking the foreman?

Suppose that all the eight-foot ladders were in use at the time of your accident.  Had your foreman directed you to finish the piping in the office suite before undertaking other tasks?  Was there sufficient other work to occupy you for the rest of the workday?

If there were adequate safety devices available for your use, or you had other work, then your case is tough.  Talk to a lawyer about this – perhaps you have the right answers to these questions – and heal quickly.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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