Falls are one of the top reasons that workers get injured every year. Just consider the Fatal Four in the construction industry; falls are the main reason for fatal accidents in that industry every year. This is especially notable because construction experiences more fatal accidents annually than any other industry in the U.S. as a whole.
Nevertheless, there are many workers who cannot avoid working at heights. Maybe they have to climb ladders to work on roofs, paint houses, install windows, run electrical lines and much more. What can these workers do to stay safe and prevent themselves from being injured on the job?
Key ladder safety tips
Nothing guarantees that a fall won’t happen, and it can even happen to a worker who is focused on safety. But these tips can lower the odds of a fall, so keep them in mind when working on ladders:
- Always inspect the ladder and the way that it was set up before using it, especially if someone else initially set it up.
- Never have two people work on the same ladder at the same time, especially when they are climbing opposing sides.
- Do not lean to the side while still on the ladder, and do not try to move the ladder by rocking it or “walking” it without climbing down first.
- Pay attention to the weight limits, especially when transporting materials or heavy equipment up the ladder.
- Always maintain three points of contact when climbing, meaning that only one hand or one foot moves at a time.
- Do not use ladders if weather conditions do not permit, such as when it is too windy, rainy or snowy.
- Always use the right kind of ladder for the job – i.e., do not try to use a stepladder for a task that actually requires an extension ladder.
Finally, workers need to be careful when moving and transporting ladders, which can be very heavy. Lifting and carrying them can sometimes lead to strains, back injuries, spinal cord injuries and other physical challenges.
What happens after an injury?
Sometimes, despite an individual’s best efforts, they may get injured. Those who have been hurt due to job-related circumstances need to be aware of their options so that they can seek proper workers’ comp benefits.