If you must use ladders as part of your job, please know that the risks you face are greater than they are for many other employees. Falls are a leading cause of injury, and it does not take a long fall for someone to suffer serious injuries. Just slipping on a six-foot ladder while changing a lightbulb could be enough. Ladders are always dangerous.
That said, they’re also often necessary, so how can you work safely?
Ladder safety starts with the basics
Here are a few important tips:
- Do not climb to the very top or even the step right below the top.
- Do not climb on the backside of the ladder.
- Do not have multiple workers use the same ladder at the same time.
- Do not carry tools and materials up the ladder, especially if they exceed the weight limit.
- Do not use a ladder that you haven’t inspected.
- Always set the ladder up on flat, stable ground.
- Do not reach too far to either side while working. If you must reach something, climb down and move the ladder.
- Always use the right type of ladder. For instance, don’t use an extension ladder for a job that would be better done on a stepladder. Don’t use a 14-foot ladder for a job that requires a 20-foot ladder.
- If you have any doubts about stability, have another worker hold the ladder from the ground.
- Watch out for hazards overhead, such as power lines.
Just understanding that you face greater risks on a ladder can help you approach it with the right mindset.
What if you get injured in a fall from a ladder?
Even with the best precautions, ladder falls can still happen. If you get injured in a fall, you must know what options you have to recover your losses. Talk to an attorney about your options.