Ladders are necessary equipment at many workplaces across the Show Me State. However, ladders can be extremely dangerous because they create such a significant fall risk. In 2017, more than 36,000 individuals lost their lives in falls. A fall from a ladder may make it impossible for you to perform your job duties.
While you can likely receive workers’ compensation benefits to help you recover physically and financially from a work-related ladder injury, many ladder accidents are preventable. You do not have to leave your personal safety to chance. Here are ways to minimize your risk.
- Incorrect ladder placement
To avoid an injury when working with a ladder, you must place it in the right spot. First, examine your surroundings for obstacles that may entangle with the ladder, such as hoses, power cords or electrical lines. Then, choose a dry, even and solid surface to support the ladder’s feet.
- Wrong ladder selection
To help workers perform many jobs, ladders come in a variety of styles. Not every ladder is right for every task you must accomplish at work. To avoid a serious injury, you must choose a ladder that is appropriate to the task you need to accomplish. Asking yourself the following questions may be helpful:
- What height do you need to reach?
- How much weight do you need the ladder to support?
- Are you working with or near electricity?
- Damaged equipment
Even with proper usage, ladders are apt to eventually wear out or break completely. Damaged equipment may not support your weight. Not only should you not use damaged ladders, but you should also alert your colleagues about the potential safety hazard.
Before you set up any ladder, examine it for signs of distress, such as wobbly rungs or missing safety features. By committing to using ladders safely, you can both protect yourself and model good behaviors for your co-workers.