Are you a construction worker? Do you ever wonder about the things you can do to better prevent an accident in the future?
There's a good chance you spend many hours of your week climbing up and down ladders on the job site. While this may be second nature to you, it's important to remember one thing: A simple mishap can lead to a serious accident.
Here are six ladder safety tips that you should always keep in mind:
- Inspect a ladder before you use it. If you come across any sort of defect or damage, such as a crack or rust, remove the ladder from service and find another one for the time being.
- Only place the ladder on level and firm ground. Putting a ladder on soft or uneven ground increases the likelihood of an accident, and that's not a risk you want to take.
- Don't carry a heavy load up or down the ladder. As you look for ways to save time, you may assume it's okay to carry a heavy load with you on the ladder. However, if you do this, it increases the risk of losing your balance and falling to the ground.
- Don't stretch or lean when using a ladder. For example, if the ladder isn't tall enough, you may reach the top rung and then stretch as far as possible. This is a mistake, as it can cause you to lose your balance.
- Avoid setting up a ladder close to an exit door, pedestrian traffic or vehicular traffic. You should also make sure other workers know that you're using a ladder, so that they don't bump into it.
- Ask for assistance. If you're concerned about the stability of a ladder for any reason, don't hesitate to ask a coworker to hold it.
If you work on a ladder often you may find it difficult to follow these safety tips, day in and day out.
In the event of an accident, regardless of the cause, call for help and follow the medical advice you receive. Also, report the accident to your employer and learn more about your rights under the workers' compensation system.