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Leep, Tescher, Helfman and Zanze

How can you work safely on a ladder?

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.