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Painter seriously injured after falling off ladder

Date of incident: July 2013
Notice of incident number: 2013162000244
Employer: Painting and restoration company

Incident summary
A painter was painting the fascia boards on a house, while standing on a 24-foot extension ladder. The painter had extended the ladder to 17 feet, and he was working about 13 feet above the driveway with the ladder placed on uneven ground. The painter fell off the ladder onto the driveway and suffered serious injuries. He was airlifted to the hospital.

Investigation conclusions

  • Improper use of ladder: The ladder had been improperly placed on two pieces of wood that shifted, causing the ladder to become unstable.

Underlying factors

  • Lack of training: The painter had not been trained on any of the following:
    • how to identify the grade of ladder and know which grade to use
    • how to inspect a ladder prior to use
    • how to assemble a ladder
    • where and how a ladder can be used
    • hazards of using a ladder on uneven ground
  • Failure to identify workplace hazards: The employer knew that the painter had to climb up and down the ladder multiple times with two cans of paint, and knew that the ground was not level. The employer failed to identify these hazards to ensure the painter's safety at this worksite.

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Publication Date: Jul 2013 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2013162000244