March is National Ladder Safety Month. According to the American Ladder Institute, more than 100 people die, and thousands of others suffer disabling injuries in ladder-related accidents each year. So, take a few extra minutes to make sure your work area is set up properly.
Here are some helpful tips to remember when using a ladder:
- First, read and follow all instructions/labels on the ladder.
- Do not exceed the maximum load rating.
- Avoid electrical hazards.
- Always inspect the ladder before using it. Keep the steps clean.
- Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
- When climbing, maintain a three-point contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) on the ladder. Keep your body near the middle of the step to prevent tipping, and always face the ladder while climbing.
- Do not use a self-supporting ladder in a closed or partially closed position.
- Do not stand on the top step or rung of a ladder.
- Do not place a ladder on another object to gain additional height.
- Do not move a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
- An extension or straight ladder used to access a raised surface must extend at least three feet above the support point to prevent the ladder from moving away from the support. Also, don’t stand on the three top rungs or steps of a straight or extension ladder because that could also cause a ladder to move away from the support.
If you sustain an injury from a ladder accident or any injury at work, Gemma Law Associates, Inc. workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help. If you have questions, we offer a FREE, no-obligation consultation to review your case.