In many workplaces, ladder use is frequent. Workers in a store or a warehouse have to get things down from high shelves. Workers on a construction site may have to climb ladders to get to higher levels or work at elevated positions, such as when painting a house or installing windows. But even someone like the janitor at the local high school may need to use ladders to change lightbulbs and do other simple tasks.
In other words, ladders are very common, but they are also dangerous. Falls can happen in any industry, and falls from ladders can be catastrophic.
So how can workers stay safe?
It is possible for workers to stay safe when using a ladder. Here are some tips that can reduce the odds of an accident:
- Never have two workers on the ladder at the same time.
- Observe and stick to the weight limit on the ladder.
- Always maintain three points of contact.
- Never lean to the side when working on the ladder.
- Carefully consider the angle at which the ladder is set up and the surface that it has been set up on.
- Watch for overhead hazards, such as powerlines.
- Never attempt to move a ladder by “hopping” it sideways.
- Use the right type of ladder for the job, perhaps picking between extension ladders and step ladders.
These tips can certainly make accidents less likely, but injuries do still happen. Falls are one of the top reasons for fatal injuries in construction, for instance, even when workers have the proper training. After these accidents, injured workers – or the families of those who have passed away – need to know about all of their options under workers’ comp. laws.