The longer workers use ladders on their daily job, the higher the statistical likelihood that a fall will occur. Many fall injuries happen simply because workers become too comfortable and complacent as they become more and more familiar with their daily work routines.
By reading the following ladder safety tips on a regular basis, and by frequently reminding workers of these tips, construction workers will stay more alert to avoid injuries when using ladders on the job.
Ladder safety tips that every construction worker needs to remember
Here are the most important ladder safety tips to always keep in mind:
- Before using a ladder, always look for safety-related defects, cracks, rusty parts, loose bolts and other potential problems. If the ladder has a minor issue, don't use it. Label the problematic ladder as unsafe and take it out of service.
- Always check to ensure that the ladder is equipped with its slip-resistant pads. These can wear out, dry out and/or fall off. Don't use a ladder with missing or problematic anti-slip pads.
- Only use fiberglass ladders when there's the risk of coming into contact with an electrical current.
- Only place your ladder on a firm, level and rigid base. Sandy, dirty, soft or loose surfaces are dangerous for ladder use. Similarly, ensure that the top of the ladder is resting against a level and rigid support surface.
- Only set the ladder at an angle that is approved in the manufacturer's safety material.
- When using a ladder to ascend to a higher level, be certain that the ladder extends a minimum of three feet higher than the top level.
- Do not carry heavy, unbalancing loads while on a ladder.
- Do not use the top or second-to-last rung of the ladder to stand on. Read the safety guidelines on the ladder to ensure that you're not using a ladder rung that says "This Is Not a Step."
- If you have to stretch, pull, lean, hammer or engage in any physically active tasks, instead of using a ladder, it's better to use a scaffold that offers a safe and firm working surface.
- Do not place a ladder close to a door that could open, and do not block exit doors with the ladder.
Were you hurt while using a ladder at a construction site?
If you were hurt while using a ladder at a construction site, seek medical attention immediately. Next, investigate whether you can pursue a workers' compensation claim or personal injury claim to pay for the costs of your medical care. Finally, you might also want to investigate whether you can receive wage replacement benefits while you're at home and unable to work as a result of your injuries.