Depending on your profession, you may be required to use a ladder or scaffolding each and every day. While you understand the benefits of using these tools to work at height, you should never overlook the fact that a simple mistake can cause a serious accident that results in injury.
The more you use a ladder the easier it is to assume that you'll never be part of an accident. However, you shouldn't think this way. You must always be on your toes, as even the more experienced professionals make mistakes.
Here are some ladder safety tips to help you prevent a workplace injury:
- Watch for electrical hazards, such as low hanging power lines in close proximity to where you are placing your ladder
- Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times, such as two feet and one hand
- Inspect the ladder before taking your first step, paying close attention to any defects or damage
- Use the right size ladder for the job
- Never use the top rung of a ladder to stand on, as this increases the risk of it toppling
- Don't attempt to carry a heavy load on a ladder, as this increase the chance of losing your balance
- Never place a ladder on an item to increase its height
- Only place a ladder on firm and level ground
- Do not attempt to move a ladder while you are standing on it
- Let other workers know when you're using the ladder
- Don't place a ladder close to vehicle or pedestrian traffic
- Make sure all locks on an extension ladder are engaged before taking the first step
Even though you think you're doing all these things, there is a good chance you're not. For example, some people never think twice about where they place a ladder. Instead, they assume that others will be careful not to strike it.
If you are part of a ladder accident, such as one where you fall to the ground from height, stay where you are and wait for help to arrive.
Once you receive treatment, make sure your employer knows what went wrong. This will help you when filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits.