Using a ladder feels safe, and maybe even boring, until something goes wrong. It’s then that workers realize just how dangerous it is to be even five or six feet off of the ground. A fall from any distance could lead to broken bones, internal bleeding, a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord/neck injury. It’s something everyone needs to take seriously, no matter how commonplace using a ladder begins to feel.
Nothing guarantees that an accident will not happen at work, but here are some tips that can help if your job involves being on a ladder:
- When climbing the ladder, make sure you always have three contact points.
- Only one person should use a ladder at a time, so never let anyone climb on the other side, above you or below you.
- Observe the weight limits on the ladder when thinking about materials and supplies.
- Refrain from leaning or overextending your reach. If reaching moves you out from between the rails, the odds of a fall climb dramatically.
- Never climb too high. It’s tempting to stand on the top when you just need to be a foot higher, but you should really swap your ladder out for a taller one.
- Never attempt to move the ladder while you’re standing on it.
- Watch out for any hazards around you, such as power lines over your head or a door that opens toward the ladder.
- Never use a ladder that is in poor condition and may malfunction.
Again, accidents happen, even when you observe all of these tips. If you are injured on the job, be sure to seek the workers’ compensation you need and deserve.