Many professions use a basic piece of equipment, the ladder, as part of their everyday work. Construction workers, tree workers, window washers, painters, and a whole host of other types of workers have to use ladders to perform their jobs.
In New Jersey in 2016, one in 33 workers sustained an occupational injury or illness, with 93,000 work-related injuries or illnesses in New Jersey workplaces. Improving safety in high-risk occupations by mitigating the hazards of equipment, such as ladders, is one way to reduce these injuries.
Hazards to avoid when using a ladder
Ladder falls are very common in professions such as construction. However, there are other, more subtle risks to using a ladder that many people do not take into account. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when choosing and using a ladder:
- Check for power lines overhead before placing the ladder.
- Ensure the ground surface where the ladder is being set up is level, clean, and dry.
- Avoid using aluminum ladders in electrical areas.
- Choose the right type of ladder to support your weight as well as any materials you will be using.
- Use the three-point contact rule when climbing the ladder, and do not carry any loads.
Serious injuries due to improper ladder use
Construction workers and workers in other professions that use ladders often can sometimes become complacent when it comes to following proper safety procedures. However, just one second of inattention can lead to a serious injury. A ladder fall can cause fractures and broken bones, traumatic head injuries, and even death.
If you sustain an injury at work due to the use of a ladder or any other equipment, you need to notify your employer immediately. You will need to file a workers' compensation claim to get the needed compensation to pay for your medical treatment and care. Take the necessary safety precautions at all times so you can avoid the hazards of injury that result from improper ladder use.