A ladder seems like a rather unassuming tool on a job site. You feel like you’re in more danger from a power tool or a vehicle. While all of these tools and machines carry risks, don’t underestimate a simple ladder in terms of the risk to your safety.
Many workers fall and suffer serious brain injuries, back injuries, chest injuries and much more. A simple slip on a ladder can change your life.
Safety tips for people who work on ladders
To help you avoid such catastrophic injuries, here are a few key safety tips to keep in mind:
- Always seek to keep three points of contact as you climb (two hands, one foot or one hand and two feet)
- Read the labels and warning signs before using a ladder
- Take weight requirements seriously
- Remember to check the surface upon which you set the ladder to make sure it is clean, dry and stable
- Never share a ladder with another worker, using it at the same time
- Never stand on the very top step of a ladder
- Remember that falls don’t have to be far, and you can suffer serious injuries on even a five-foot ladder
- Don’t set your ladder on a box or anything else to make it taller
- Stand straight up and do not lean while on the ladder; get down and move the ladder if you can’t reach something
- Look for ladder defects before climbing
- Do not carry heavy loads up a ladder
- Do not rush; it’s far better to take your time and consider your foot placements carefully
You can work safely on ladders of all sizes, and this helps you avoid a fall, but accidents do still happen. On the job, many factors are out of your control. If you get injured in the fall, be sure you know what rights you have to workers’ compensation. If you are having difficulty with a claim or your claim is unfairly denied, an experienced advocate can help.