Ladders are pieces of equipment that are present in just about every home nationwide, including in Ohio. March is National Ladder Safety month, which might be a good time to remind complacent workers of the dangers posed by ladders. They are used in almost all industries, from construction sites to office storerooms.
Common causes of falls from ladders
Labor statistics indicate that fractured bones are the most common injuries caused by falls from ladders. However, the factors that cause the falls should be addressed, and they include the following:
- The top rung of the ladder is not a step, and workers should not stand on it.
- Instead of leaning from the ladder to reach something, workers should go down and reposition the ladder.
- Moving the ladder while somebody is on it is dangerous.
- Climbing the ladder while carrying tools or other objects is unsafe.
- Workers on ladders should have their hands free to practice the three-point contact method.
- Tools should be carried in a tool belt or pulled up by a retrieval system, but not while climbing.
Choose the right ladder for the job
Some of the most serious injuries result from using ladders that are inappropriate for the job. The following precautions should apply whenever ladders are used:
- Inspect the ladder before it is used.
- Broken or cracked rungs, non-approved repairs or fixes, and loose bolts can lead to falls and possible catastrophic injuries.
- Complacency and taking shortcuts often cause workers to use the same ladder for different jobs.
- Choosing a too short ladder often causes workers to risk standing on the top rung to reach higher.
- Placing ladders on uneven or unstable ground conditions is extremely dangerous.
- Use only ladders that are approved for the purpose, and check weight rating to avoid overloading.
Despite all the precautions, ladder falls will likely continue to occur. When Ohio workers suffer ladder-related injuries, they might find it comforting to know that the workers’ compensation system will cover their medical expenses and lost wages.