Some Do’s And Don’ts Of Ladder Safety
If you work in the construction industry, chances are you see and use ladders daily. Unfortunately, people do not realize how dangerous ladders can be. Ladder accidents are quite common in the United States of America. And unfortunately, a ladder accident can result in severe injuries and even death. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ladder accidents can cause more than 150 deaths in a single year. The BLS estimates that in 2020, ladder accidents caused 161 fatal work injuries. Because of how dangerous ladders can be, it’s crucial that you understand ladder safety. Below, we discuss some of the dos and don’ts of ladder safety.
Conduct an Inspection Before Climbing a Ladder
Before setting foot on a ladder, inspect it for any damage. You want to make sure that there aren’t any problems with the ladder before you begin your climb. Look closely at all inches of your ladder to find anything that is out of place, and watch out for even the smallest issues, like scratches or cracks. Remember, even a minor problem can become a major once you are on a ladder.
Don’t Use a Damaged Ladder
If you notice a ladder is damaged during inspection, do not proceed to use it. A ladder that is damaged can, for example, break during use.
Face the Ladder When Going Up or Down
Always face the ladder when climbing up or down. By facing the ladder, your balance will be better, and you’ll be less likely to fall. Additionally, do not carry anything with your hands when climbing a ladder.
Don’t Stand on the Top Rung of a Ladder
The most dangerous part of a ladder to stand on is the top rung. So it is best to avoid standing on the top rung of a ladder. If you must stand on the top rung, have someone else hold the ladder steady for you.
Ensure the Ladder Is on a Level, Firm Surface Before Climbing
Ladder safety is not just about ensuring you climb up and down safely. You also need to ensure the stability of your footing before you begin the climb. Therefore, before climbing a ladder, you should ensure it is on a level, firm surface. Doing so can help prevent a fall.
Don’t Lean Too Far to One Side
Leaning too far to one side when climbing up or down a ladder makes the ladder less stable. You should always try to keep your body centered between the rails when climbing up or down a ladder.
Use Both Hands When Climbing
Using both hands when climbing up or down a ladder can help you maintain balance, thus reducing the risk of falling. If you can’t keep both hands on a ladder, ensure you keep your two feet and one hand on the ladder. This is called maintaining a 3-point contact.
Unfortunately, despite all your efforts to keep safe, you can still get into a ladder accident at work and suffer injuries. In the event that you suffer a ladder injury while at work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim and recover benefits.
Legal Help Is Available
Our skilled Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law can help you file your workers’ compensation claim after suffering a ladder injury.