Whether on a construction site or completing a home renovation project, New Yorkers rely heavily on the use of step ladders to finish a job successfully. Unfortunately, even a small ladder in the hands of a professional can present hazards that lead to significant accidents and serious injuries. It is crucial that construction workers protect themselves from serious injury during every shift.
While the safety suggestions of ladder use generally boil down to common sense, it can be helpful to review the do’s and don’ts of ladder safety.
What should you do?
It is important that everyone attempting to use a ladder on a project remember several safety points, including:
- Familiarize yourself with the load rating of the ladder you have selected. Remember that the load rating not only includes the worker, but tools, gear or materials being hauled up and down the ladder.
- Maintain three points of contact. While either moving up or down the ladder, it is important to maintain three points of contact – including any combination of the hands and feet – to ensure stability.
- Carefully place the ladder. Identify a clean, stable surface on which to use the ladder. Additionally, it is wise to place the ladder at right angles to the work being completed.
What should you avoid?
With any list of do’s, there will be a corresponding list of don’ts, including:
- Do not tip or move the ladder while in use. It is not uncommon for people to attempt to save time while working on a ladder. Rather than coming down to ground level, they might try to move the ladder while in use. This can weaken the structure and cause the ladder to tip.
- Do not use the top two rungs of the ladder. This includes the topmost step.
- Do not use a ladder that appears broken or fatigued. It is important to do a visual examination of the ladder before using it. Look for worn sections or bent rungs.
Ladder falls and falls from height can result in serious injuries including head trauma, paralysis or broken bones. It is crucial that New York construction workers remember to stay safe working on ladders, scaffolding or a multi-level building. If you suffer an injury on the job site, do not hesitate to file a workers’ compensation claim.