In the workplace, ladder accidents are a common threat. You could be a retail worker getting something from a high shelf, an electrician putting in a light fixture, a construction worker putting on siding or a painter who has to climb 30 feet up the side of a house.
These are just a few examples, but the overall takeaway is that many diverse jobs have some sort of ladder risk, and employees need to know how to use ladders safely to reduce injury rates and accident risks. To help, here are a few tips from the experts at This Old House:
- Make sure you have the right ladder for the job. For instance, don’t use a metal ladder around wires.
- Check the load limits. Consider your own weight, in all of your gear, and the weight of any tools and equipment.
- Only use a ladder that is tall enough for the job. If you have to climb beyond the warning signs, you need a taller ladder.
- Stay in contact with the ladder at all times, generally keeping at least three points of contact. This means carrying tools in a belt, not your hands, and only using one at a time.
- Check the surface where you set the ladder to make sure it is stable and secure. You never want to set it on loose or wet ground. As you set it up, make sure it’s not too steep or too shallow of an angle.
These tips can help, but accidents do still happen. Workers who get hurt on the job need to know what legal steps to take to protect their interests and get all the compensation and benefits they are due.