Every day, workers around the country get injured performing the very basic task of climbing up a ladder. It is an activity that may seem simple and safe, but people often do not use ladders as safely as they should, and it becomes a recipe for disaster. Estimates show that around 300 people die annually due to falling from ladders. A large percentage of those are people who are working when it happens. There may be any number of reasons to be up on a ladder while on the job, but there is no reason you shouldn’t be as safe as possible while you are. Here are some tips to keep safe while on a ladder on the job.
First off, make sure to follow any instructions and labels that come with the ladder. The manufacturer will obviously know best how to use the ladder safely, so it is best to follow their guidelines.
Next you should keep any materials that may cause you to slip away from a ladder. This includes liquids, tools, or anything that might be lying around the site.
You should always have three points touching the ladder. That may been two hands and a foot, or one hand and two feet. This will help make sure that you are secure on the ladder and able to react if you were to lose your balance.
Sometimes it is not the climber or even a malfunctioning of the ladder that causes the fall. It may be another worker coming by and causing the accident. They may be carrying something that knocks someone off the ladder, or they might simply run into the ladder if they are not paying attention. Make sure to put up a barrier or some sort of notification to warn others.
Make sure the ladder is solid and secure on level ground. It may look straight, but if all the legs are not completely on the ground, you can cause it to tip when you put weight on it. If you feel a ladder wobbling, then get off of it immediately.
The OSHA also has regulations for ladder use, so make sure that you are familiar with them. Plan your work and use the right ladders and safety techniques, and you should be safe when using ladders at work.
If you are a Minnesota worker who has been injured on the job, do not hesitate to contact Minnesota Occupational Health online, by phone or by visiting one of our Twin Cities locations. Our staff of physicians, many of whom are board certified in occupational medicine, offer years of experience and understanding in addressing work injuries.