Ladders that are used on the job may be necessary, but they also increase the risks of serious injuries. They are common in professions like construction, roofing, painting, electrical work and much more. Even workers in many retail outlets have to use ladders to get items that are stored up high.
In short, you may not be able to avoid using a ladder. However, you can avoid some of the risks if you know how to use it properly. The following are a few safe practices to keep in mind.
Know your ladder
When using a ladder, check it over for defects or damage. If you didn’t set it up yourself, make sure this was done so properly. Consider the type of ladder you need for the specific task. You must know your ladder and what red flags to watch for.
You should never rush on a ladder or use it improperly to save time. For instance, workers may try to climb the wrong side of the ladder or lean over while standing on that ladder, all to avoid the time spent moving and adjusting it. These types of “shortcuts” massively increase the risks.
Practice three points of contact
The best way to safely climb is by maintaining three points of contact at all times. Only reach or step with one hand or foot, and make sure you’re secure before moving again. As noted above, never rush. Never carry items that make three points of contact impossible.
Ladder safety doesn’t guarantee you’ll never fall or get injured. If you do get hurt on the job, you need to know your rights to workers’ compensation.