Ladders are a necessity in many occupations, including construction, warehouses, maintenance and repair and even the service industry. But a fall from ladder can result in serious injuries that may interfere with your ability to perform your job.
The most recent statistics show that ladder-related incidents account for over 20,000 workplace injuries. Often times, ladder accidents are entirely preventable. Knowing this, it can make a ladder-related injury all the more frustrating.
Types of ladder-related injuries
Because most ladder accidents involve falls from tall heights, the injuries usually surpass simple cuts and bruises. Ladder-related injuries usually result in:
- Broken bones
- Sprained or dislocated joints
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
In some unfortunate cases, a fall from a ladder can even result in death. Any injury sustained from a significant fall can easily keep you from work. And when a workplace injury prevents you from doing your job, you lose wages. This makes it difficult — and sometimes even impossible — to pay for any medical expenses that come your way.
Ladder safety tips and injury prevention
Some workplaces have training programs or at the very least safety pamphlets for workers to read through. However, accidents do happen. To keep yourself and other coworkers safe while working on a ladder, here are some basic ladder safety tips to remember:
- Wear appropriate footwear — Ladder steps can get slippery, especially if you’re working outside. Sturdy, water-proof shoes can help prevent you from slipping off of a ladder rung.
- Inspect the ladder before use — This is a simple but often overlooked step that can sometimes lead to bad accidents. Your inspection should include things like checking that the ladder’s locks are in place and making sure it’s on level ground.
- Check your surroundings — Before placing your ladder where you need it, it doesn’t hurt to make sure that your ladder is in clear view. Don’t place it in front of a door or window without putting a sign up first that warns other workers that a ladder is in use.
- Remember three-point contact — Basic ladder safety protocol requires you to maintain three points of contact on the ladder at all times. Leaning sideways or backwards while taking one hand off the ladder can offset your balance and the ladder’s stability.
Seek help for your injuries
Even when you follow these safety measures, sometimes you can’t avoid a ladder accident. If you sustained a serious or debilitating injury because of a ladder-related incident in your workplace, don’t hesitate to seek compensation. Workers’ compensation is an option that can help you get the benefits you need to help you manage the aftermath of a workplace injury.