Ladders are one of the most useful tools in many industries but also the most dangerous. They massively increase the odds of a severe injury in a fall. Even falling from just a few feet can result in broken bones, head, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries and much more. Falls from taller ladders, such as 30-foot ones used by roofing companies, can be fatal.
So how do you stay safe? Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take.
Keep these tips in mind each time you use a ladder
Every time that you ascend even a short ladder, the following tips may reduce your odds of a serious accident:
- Always inspect the ladder before use
- Face the ladder and never turn around to work behind you
- If you can’t reach something, climb down and move the ladder rather than leaning
- When possible, use belts to carry tools so that both hands are free
- Check the angle of the ladder so that it won’t tip as you climb
- Never set up a ladder on a slippery or unstable surface
- Try to keep three points of contact with the ladder at all times
- Check the weight limit to ensure you won’t exceed it with your supplies, materials and tools
- Take the warnings saying to stay off of the top rungs seriously
- Understand the type of ladder you need for a specific job, such as a stepladder or an extension, aluminum or fiberglass one
These tips help, but falls and accidents can still happen on the job. If you suffer injuries, you have a right to workers’ compensation, and you must know what steps to take to obtain it.