Many workplace accidents are the result of falls from ladders. It could be as simple as someone slipping off of a stepladder while trying to reach a high shelf in a warehouse or as serious as a worker slipping off of an extension ladder while painting or trying to climb up to a roof. Either way, serious injuries can result.
How can workers stay safe? They need to know how to use ladders properly and what mistakes to avoid. Nothing can entirely remove the risk of a fall, but this can help to lower the odds that one will occur.
Common safety tips
Every worker needs to consider the specifics of their work environment, but the following tips can often help:
- Never climb on the supports on the back side of a ladder
- Never have two workers use the same ladder at once
- Do not lean to the side while still on the ladder
- Do not try to “walk” the ladder by bouncing or rocking it
- Pay attention to the weight limits and do not exceed them
- Do not carry tools, parts or materials up the ladder
- Always use three points of contact when climbing
- Inspect the ladder carefully before use
- Read and follow all safety instructions that come with the ladder
With a focus on safety, workers may be able to avoid a fall. At the same time, even safe workers can get involved in unexpected accidents, or they could resolve from the negligence of coworkers. Those who have been hurt on the job need to know about their options to seek workers’ comp benefits.