When working from a ladder, you are vulnerable to serious injury in an unexpected fall. If your ladder tangles with overhead power lines, you may also suffer electrocution. For these and other reasons, ladder violations remain on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s annual list of the 10 most frequently cited workplace safety issues.
Before stepping foot on a ladder, you must be certain it can support both you and your equipment. Three simple steps may put your mind at ease.
1. Choosing the ladder
No ladder is right for every job you are likely to encounter at work. When choosing the ladder, you must be certain its height, style and construction are suitable for the job. Reading through the ladder’s usage instructions and restrictions before starting a project is always a good idea.
2. Inspecting the ladder
Once you select the right ladder for your work project, you must carefully inspect it for visible signs of damage. If the ladder has missing rungs, dented rails, broken feet or any other defects, it is likely not safe to use. After noticing ladder damage, inform your supervisor and mark the ladder as faulty to protect your coworkers.
3. Placing the ladder
Finally, you must place the ladder on a solid foundation. Putting the ladder on an uneven or squishy surface may be a recipe for disaster. The same is likely true for placing the ladder on top of another object. Furthermore, before setting up the ladder, you must check for overhead powerlines, exposed wires and anything else that may be hazardous.
Even if you take steps to use a ladder correctly, you may injure yourself in a fall or another workplace accident. Receiving prompt medical attention may be necessary both to recover completely and to return to your job duties.