Falling from a ladder can lead to traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries and much more. Every year, workers suffer both fatal and non-fatal injuries in ladder falls.
In some cases, the ladders are very tall and clearly dangerous, but some serious falls also happen on short stepladders and stools. Any fall is dangerous, especially if you strike your head, so how can you stay safe?
Tips to help you prevent falls while working with ladders
Safety equipment like harnesses and helmets can help in case of a fall, but the best thing you can do is to avoid the fall entirely. Here are some tips that can help:
- Never let go of the ladder with both hands. You should always strive to keep at least three points of contact with the ladder at all times.
- Do not carry heavy materials or tools up a ladder. Climb up and have someone hand you the tools.
- Do not attempt to step from one ladder to another. This is simply dangerous to do in any situation.
- Do not lean to the side while still on a ladder. If you cannot reach whatever you are working on, it’s much safer to climb down and move the ladder to the side, even though doing so takes longer.
- Always take a look at the surface where you set up the ladder. Even if you are completely safe otherwise, an unstable or uneven surface could cause a fall.
- Check ladders periodically for damage, defects and wear and tear. If the ladder is in disrepair, get another.
- Never use a ladder while dizzy or fatigued. It’s better to slow down a job than end up hurt.
- Always make sure your ladder is the right size and type for the job at hand.
Using these tips can help you avoid accidents, but they do still happen without warning. If you get injured, you may have a right to serious workers’ compensation. Working with an attorney is often the best way to protect your future and your rights.