If you regularly find yourself using a ladder at your place of employment, such as to clean windows or paint, there are special safety tips you must follow to avoid a serious accident.
Falling from a ladder to the ground below, even from a short distance, can result in serious injury or even death.
Here are five of the most common causes of ladder accidents, all of which you need to protect against:
- Missing a step: For example, if you miss the last step when climbing down, you could lose your balance and fall to the ground.
- Reaching at the top: If your ladder isn't tall enough, you may have to stretch and reach upon reaching the top. This increases the chance of losing your balance.
- Wrong size ladder: Know the job and know the size ladder that's best for it. If you need an extension ladder, don't assume a portable unit will work for you.
- Placing the ladder on unstable or uneven ground: It's essential to find solid, level ground as this gives you a safe base for using the ladder.
- Neglecting to maintain three points of contact: You should always have two hands and one foot on the ladder or two feet and one hand on the ladder.
If you're part of a ladder accident, don't attempt to move. You could have a serious injury that requires immediate medical care. Call for help and wait for an ambulance to arrive to transport you to a local hospital.
As soon as you can, report the incident to your employer and look into your legal rights for receiving workers' compensation benefits.