Safety on a ladder starts with simply inspecting the ladder and setting it up properly. You need to make sure that it’s not defective, that it’s not broken and that it is set up on a stable surface.
Once you get it set up properly, there are still risks to consider. Ladders are one of the main reasons for workplace injuries in a lot of industries, and falls can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. It’s important to know what you can do to be safe while you climb.
Never carry items in your hands
First of all, always wear tools in a belt or in a pack. Do not carry them in your hands, as this makes it impossible to maintain three points of contact. Those three points are crucial in preventing a slip.
Never lean to the side
Climbing straight up the ladder doesn’t require you to lean, and it probably feels very stable. But some workers make the mistake of leaning from the top of the ladder when they can’t quite reach the area they’re supposed to be working on. This can cause it to lose balance and fall, even if it was set up well initially.
Take your time
You never want to rush on a ladder. Simply slipping with one foot off of a rung can be enough to fall a significant distance. Always take your time and climb slowly and safely. Mistakes and errors are more common when workers rush.
Never climb too high
Finally, even if your ladder is too short for the job you have to do, do not climb onto the very top of that ladder. There’s a greater chance that the letter will tip and fall, and someone on the highest rung will not have proper handholds.
If you do suffer injuries in a ladder fall on the job, when you may need to know how to seek workers’ compensation.