In many professions, working on ladders is unavoidable, especially during the summer months. Those who use ladders consistently could be house painters, roofers, construction workers and window washers. They could be building and ground maintenance crews. Ladders are often used in the agricultural field. Examples of this reality are nearly endless.
What this means is that workers in all of these professions face a significant amount of risk. A fall from a ladder can be fatal, even if someone is only standing a few feet off of the ground. Remember that construction is the most dangerous industry in the United States, when looking at total deaths, and that falls are the number one reason for these fatal accidents. This statistic is certainly not something to take lightly.
Ladder safety tips
To help workers stay safe on ladders this year, here are some safety tips that they should keep in mind every day:
- Always use three points of contact when ascending or descending a ladder.
- Ensure that the ladder has been set up on a flat and smooth surface.
- Never use a ladder when feeling dizzy, tired or otherwise under the weather.
- Do not use the ladder at the same time as anyone else.
- Never climb on the support bars on the back of the ladder, but only on the official rungs.
- Keep an eye on the weight limit for the ladder, especially when transporting materials.
- Inspect the ladder and read the safety information before using it.
- Never lean to the side on a ladder, instead opting to descend the ladder and move it to a more applicable position.
These tips can be very helpful, and it’s also important for workers to simply have a general mindset that is focused on safety. Many workers believe that they need to focus only on productivity. But this can lead to rushing, which makes mistakes more likely. Workers should consider safety to be the top priority and productivity to be second.
That being said, accidents and injuries are still going to happen. Those who have been hurt in falls on the job – which can happen even if a worker attempted to be safe and used all of the tips listed above – need to know about their options to pursue proper workers’ comp benefits. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.