Check your Ladder Before you Take Down your Christmas Decorations
Many people are injured each year while taking down the decorations from their Christmas tree—simply because they failed to check the safety of their ladder, or to find out if it had been recalled.
Recently, a number of ladders and step-stools, sold exclusively at Home Depot, and online at homedepot.com, were recalled. These items, imported by Wing Enterprises of Springville, Utah, were manufactured in China by the Suzhou Zhong Chaung Aluminum Products Company. According to the recall notice, when the ladder is extended, the inner side rails can separate from the outer side rails, posing a fall hazard for the user. Wing Enterprises received nine reports of the ladder becoming unstable, causing users to fall, and sustain injuries ranging from scrapes and contusions to a fractured collarbone.
Common sense dictates that working on a ladder that is defective—owing to poor design or a manufacturing defect—is not safe. It can lead to catastrophic injuries to the brain, back, and spinal cord, or to paralysis or even death.
Before you climb a ladder, inspect it to make sure that the frame is not cracked or warped, and that its feet are in proper condition, and not damaged. Uneven ladder feet, a loose wrung, or corroded components may render the ladder too weak to support you, which can lead to a catastrophic fall.
If, in fact, you or a loved one has fallen from a defective ladder, be sure to carefully preserve the damaged ladder—to avoid spoliation of evidence—and have it promptly inspected by an experienced product liability expert who is thoroughly familiar with defective ladders. Victims of ladder falls and their families can seek financial compensation if it is proven that the ladder was defective, and caused the injury.
This holiday season, be smart—and exercise caution, to ensure that your holiday ends joyfully.