Many professions call for the regular use of a ladder. For example, if you’re employed as a roofer or construction worker, you can expect to use this tool time and time again.
While a ladder is meant to make your life easier, it also increases the risk of an accident and serious injury.
Here are some of the many tips you can follow to maintain your safety when using a ladder at work:
- Inspect it first: Before you take your first step up the ladder, inspect it for signs of damage or defects. Rust, for example, is a safety hazard as it’s likely to cause a weak point in the ladder.
- Place it appropriately: Your ladder should be on firm and level ground. Anything less than this is unacceptable, as it greatly increases the risk of the ladder tipping as you climb higher. Along with firm and level ground, look for an area that’s as far away from pedestrian and vehicular traffic as possible.
- Maintain three points of contact: You have four points of contact: two hands and two feet. You should have three points on the ladder at all time. This means two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
- Don’t use a ladder in inclement weather: For example, you don’t want to climb up or down a ladder when the wind is blowing strong and/or there’s heavy rain. It’s hard enough to maintain your safety when using a ladder. Add bad weather to the equation and your job just got a lot more difficult.
- Don’t carry heavy loads: It’s easy to get into the habit of doing this, as you’re looking for ways to save time. But the more weight you carry, the greater chance there is that it will pull you off the ladder.
When you follow these ladder safety tips, it’s easier to use this tool in a responsible manner day after day.
Should you suffer an injury in a ladder accident, such as broken bones or a concussion, report the incident to your employer, seek medical care and immediately learn more about your legal rights under the workers’ compensation system.