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How to stay safe when working on a ladder

Climbing up and down a ladder all day is hard work. Even if it has been a big part of your job for many years, it doesn't do anything to relieve your stress. One false step or wrong move is all it takes to cause an accident.

There are a variety of steps you can take to stay safe when working on a ladder, including these five:

  • Beware of where you place it: Where and how you place a ladder is important to your safety. For example, you must always place a ladder on firm and level ground. Anything but this can cause the ladder to tip on your way up or down.
  • Check it for damage and defects: Don't assume that a ladder is in good working condition, as these have the potential to fail with use and time. An example of this is a rung that becomes rusty, which can then snap when you put weight on it.
  • Maintain three points of contact: This means two feet and a hand or two hands and a foot. It's easier to maintain your stability with three points of contact, as opposed to two or only one.
  • Watch the weather: Inclement weather greatly increases the risk of a ladder accident. For instance, climbing a ladder when the rain is falling and the wind is blowing is never a good idea. If weather conditions are less than ideal, stay off your ladder for the time being.
  • Don't place it close to traffic: This holds true of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Along the same lines, inform your coworkers of where you're placing your ladder and when and how you'll be using it.

These tips can help keep you safe when using a ladder, but there's still the potential for a serious accident. Even if you do everything right, something beyond your control could result in a slip, fall and injury that requires immediate medical attention.

After receiving treatment, be sure that your employer is aware of what went wrong. Doing so will position you to not only file a workers' compensation claim, but to hopefully receive the benefits you deserve as quickly as possible.

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