Falls are one of the main reasons for workplace accidents. They take numerous forms, such as falls from elevated platforms, falls from roofs or slip-and-fall accidents. But one common issue is when workers fall from ladders.
As such, it is important for workers to know how to use ladders safely. Here are 3 key areas to keep in mind:
Use the ladder correctly
Always have only one worker on the ladder at a time. Never climb the back rungs on the ladder. Read the safety instructions before use and observe them – such as sticking to the posted weight limit. Use three points of contact whenever climbing up and down the ladder, and refrain from carrying parts and materials.
Consider the setup
It’s always wise to check and make sure the ladder was set up on a solid surface that isn’t slick or slanted. If the ladder has safety devices – like locking support arms on a folding ladder – they should always be used properly. These checks are especially important if the ladder was set up on a previous day, if it was set up by another worker or if it is old and possibly in poor condition.
Don’t take unneeded risks
Some accidents happen when workers take risks. A worker who doesn’t want to climb down and move the ladder may try to lean dangerously to the side, for instance, or they may try rocking the ladder back and forth to “walk” it to another location. This should never be done.
After an injury
Unfortunately, workers can still get injured even when they follow these tips to the letter. Accidents happen. Those who get hurt on the job may deserve workers’ comp benefits.