A ladder fall accident at work can be devastating. People often suffer head injuries, back injuries and neck injuries. Even just a short fall of a few feet can make you tumble in an awkward way, which can make injuries more severe.
That said, it’s unlikely that workers in many professions can simply avoid using ladders. They have to take on this risk. How can you increase your own safety and potentially avoid a fall?
Simple tips for safe ladder usage
The good news is that you can dramatically reduce your own odds of a fall with a little bit of attention to detail. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Do not reach away from the ladder. Even if something seems close, move the ladder closer if you have to lean or extend your reach in any way.
- Never put a ladder on anything else to make it taller. Get the right ladder for the job.
- Consider the angle of the ladder. If it’s too steep, it can tip backward, but it can also slide forward if it’s not steep enough.
- Never carry so many tools or materials up a ladder that you can’t hold on. Three points of contact are a must.
- Do not climb to the very top. Again, get the right ladder for the job so that it’s actually tall enough.
- Do not use a damaged ladder. Always inspect your ladder prior to climbing.
- If in doubt about stability, consider asking another worker to hold the base of the ladder while you climb.
These tips help, but workplace accidents still happen. Be sure you know your rights if you get injured.