Workers in countless occupations rely on portable ladders to perform job tasks on nearly every shift. From construction workers and house painters to electricians and factory workers, portable ladders are a mainstay in numerous types of task completion. Unfortunately, accidents can occur leaving workers facing a serious injury.
This type of occupational injury can be catastrophic or even fatal. OSHA provides numerous tips regarding ladder safety, including:
- Avoid electrical hazards. No matter the height of the ladder, it is always wise to make sure there are no power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
- Inspect the ladder. Perform a visual inspection to ensure the ladder is not damaged or defective. Make sure to mark it and take it out of service if you find a fault.
- Use three-point contact. When climbing up or down a ladder, it is crucial that you use three points of contact. It could be two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand.
- Use a ladder only on a stable, level surface.
- Be sure that the locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
- Do not exceed the maximum load rating on a ladder: Be aware that the load rating includes the entire load capacity – worker and equipment as well.
- Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder: This can include yourself as a worker on the ladder. Even if you only must shift a few inches to one side or the other, you must completely disembark from the equipment before repositioning it.
Falls from height can refer to ladders, scaffolding or multi-level structures. Workers are nearly always at risk for serious injury when tripping, slipping or falling on the job. Portable ladders can mean step ladders, straight ladders, combination ladders and extension ladders. If you were injured in a ladder accident at work, it is important to discuss your options for monetary compensation and workers’ compensation benefits with an experienced attorney.