Imagine you use a ladder every day at work. You're probably comfortable with the ladder and you run up and down it without a thought for your safety. However, have you ever stopped to think just how extremely dangerous using a ladder is? If you lost your grip and fell from the ladder, or if the ladder lost its stability, you could fall, hit your head on something and die. You might not think this will ever happen to you, but it happens to countless workers throughout the United States every year.
Every worker needs to stay safe when using a ladder to prevent catastrophic injuries. Here's how you can prevent unfortunate ladder-related incidents from happening:
- Does your ladder have slip-resistant pads and are these pads in good condition?
- Review the ladder closely before each use. Check for any broken parts, and if you find anything that threatens the safety of the ladder -- no matter how small -- don't use the device. Repair or replace it before the next use.
- If you'll be working in the vicinity of electricity, only use fiberglass ladders.
- Inspect the surface you use as a base for your ladder. Only set up a ladder on a solid base that won't collapse or result in slippage. Angle the ladder according to guidance from the ladder manufacturer.
- When using a ladder to ascend to a new level, ensure the ladder extends at least three feet beyond that level.
- Follow the three-point rule by keeping at least one hand and two feet or one foot and two hands on the ladder at all times.
Did you get hurt while using a ladder at work? You're probably covered by workers' compensation insurance and can pursue compensation to pay for your injuries and time spent unable to work.