Construction workers use a variety of tools and equipment to get the job done in a timely and effective manner. Unfortunately, the majority of these tools and equipment can result in serious injury or death if an accident occurs.
Ladder accidents are extremely common, despite the fact that there are a variety of ways to avoid trouble. Here are seven top safety tips to follow:
- Never use a damaged or defective ladder: The only way to know if a ladder is damaged or defective is to inspect it before use. Get into the habit of doing this before you take your first step.
- Let others know you're using a ladder: When your coworkers know what you're doing, they're more likely to pay attention to your ladder placement and when you're ascending and descending.
- Be careful when setting the ladder: Firm, level ground is an absolute must. Placing a ladder on a slope, for instance, increases the risk of tipping as you climb higher.
- Don't place a ladder near heavy traffic: When possible, avoid placing your ladder in an area where there are a lot of people walking or vehicles driving. It only takes one bump to knock you to the ground.
- Maintain three points of contact: Neglecting to do this increases the likelihood of losing your balance. Keep one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot on the ladder.
- Don't carry a heavy load: Carrying a heavy load up or down a ladder makes it difficult to maintain your balance. A slight lean to either side could pull you off the ladder.
- Don't use a ladder in bad weather: For example, rain is common during the spring months. Moisture on your ladder makes it difficult to maintain traction. Wearing the right shoes can help, but this is no guarantee of your safety.
Even if you have many years experience using all types of ladders, you should still exercise extreme caution.
If you're injured in a ladder accident, regardless of the reason, stay where you are and wait for medical help to arrive. Depending on your injuries, you may be able to administer first aid.
Once you receive a medical diagnosis, report your findings to your employer. Depending on your injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
For more information on personal injury law and common workplace injuries, search the many pages of our website and blog devoted to these topics.