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Worker injured in fall from ladder

Date of incident: May 2015
Notice of incident number: 2015157410094
Employer: Gas station

Incident summary
A worker was standing on an aluminum stepladder using a manually operated sprayer to apply a cleaning agent to an exterior building awning. The ladder became unstable, and the worker fell onto the pavement, striking his head and sustaining a serious injury.



Investigation conclusions


  • Worker fell from unstable ladder. The worker fell from the stepladder, sustaining a serious injury, due to the instability of the ladder. The ladder was placed on an uneven surface, which increased the likelihood that it would become unstable, especially as the worker climbed higher.

Contributing factors

  • Inappropriate choice of equipment. A ladder was chosen to elevate the worker instead of using an elevating work platform or a telescoping pole so that the worker could work from the ground.
  • Three-point contact not maintained. The worker failed to maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times, which increased the likelihood that the worker would fall from the ladder. The worker was using a two-handed work process, which did not allow him to maintain three-point contact, further demonstrating that inappropriate equipment had been chosen.

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Publication Date: Mar 2019 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2015157410094