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Do you practice ladder safety on the job?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the principal cause of construction workers' deaths is falls. Of the total fall fatalities, about a third occur in falls off ladders.

In one recent year, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that ladder mishaps were responsible for 76 construction worker deaths and 5,900 instances of lost time from work.

When you shouldn't use a ladder

OSHA recommends that construction workers not use ladders if:

  • They will be working off the ground for extended periods
  • They must hold heavy tools or materials
  • The ladder is long and unsteady
  • They need to be sideways on the ladder

In the above scenarios, using a scissor lift may be a better choice than a ladder. When necessary, OSHA recommends using ladders that have working platforms and handrail barricades.

Best practices for ladder safety

Additional OSHA recommendations include:

  • Maintaining three points of contact at all times
  • Not positioning ladders near doorways
  • Always stabilizing the ladder base
  • Using a tall enough ladder to make ascending the top rung unnecessary
  • Not climbing while toting materials or tools
  • Extending the ladder prior to commencing work
  • Wearing shoes with nonslip soles

Were you injured in an on-the-job ladder accident? Your injuries may be extensive and disabling. You may never again be able to return to work — at least not to a job in the construction industry.

In order to recover financially after suffering injuries in a workplace accident, you will need to make a claim for your damages. This can include lost wages, both present and future, as well as all medical expenses and related costs.

Source: Safety Health, "Ladder safety 101," accessed June 01, 2018

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