Safe and convenient access to a storage attic is a great convenience whereby roof space can be used, but care must be taken to avoid an injury in a loft ladder accident.
In homes, many people just use a convenient step ladder positioned beneath the hatch to climb into the roof and often this is sufficient for a reasonable and only occasional access, especially in a small property.
Falling off a ladder is an unpleasant experience and can often lead to a serious personal injury, especially if the fall is from a substantial height. Of course, an indoor ladder accident is likely to be less traumatic for this reason but may still cause harm to an individual.
These are left in situ and usually extend out from the hatch automatically when the door is opened, meaning a safer ascent and descent for users, especially when carrying a load.
Falls are the main cause of injury resulting from a loft ladder accident and these are most likely to be the fault of the user in taking insufficient precautions to hold on, having slippery footwear, or trying to carry more than is reasonable.
A failure in the ladder and its associated installation equipment is quite possible, especially if the steps have been in place for a number of years or built incorrectly, failing to take account of the weights involved when a person carries an object up or down.
Wooden ladders are particularly prone to failure if they have not been designed correctly for the particular situation in which they are placed but both these and their metal counterparts are susceptible to problems with hinges, other connections, and anchor points.
Because each building and loft is different, ladder installers need to ensure the completed equipment is completely suitable for its purpose with a safe angle for the ladder, a firm base for its feet, and solid connections to the attic opening.
Many older attic ladders have design faults and incorporate thin steel straps, rivets and hinges for the mechanical part of the moving mechanism. Sometimes these are not strong enough to cope with the forces exerted on the ladder by a heavy person who is carrying a weighty object.
A ladder which is not properly fitted will not transmit the forces through the rails but put them onto the hinges when someone is climbing or descending, and this could cause the hinges to suddenly fail. Other problems can arise if the hinges are poorly designed in the first place and are inappropriate for the use.
A business which regularly installs loft ladders should be well aware of these various risks to a user's safety. Neglect of best building procedures and materials could leave the firm open to a product liability and ladder accident claim, should the user injure themselves despite using the ladder in a sensible manner.
If an injury has been caused through the neglect or failure of someone else, such as a loft ladder manufacturer or installer, then a compensation claim for suffering or loss of earnings may be appropriate.
The sympathetic and experienced personal injury lawyers of YouClaim will be pleased to advise you on any aspect of making a damages claim and in most cases they can be handled under the no win no fee system, meaning you are protected from legal costs if your case is not successful.
To talk online to one of our helpful legal staff you can start an e-chat or we will telephone you back at a convenient time if you leave your number via the online claim form. Alternatively, call us on 0800 10 757 95.
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