If your job duties require you to reach above your head, you probably step onto a ladder every single time you go to work. While you always should choose the correct ladder for each task, you may never be able to eliminate your chances of suffering a serious injury in a ladder-related accident.
Ladders cause or contribute to roughly 164,000 injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. every year. When it comes to work-related ladder injuries, though, you have three primary risks.
Falling is by far your greatest danger when working on a ladder. To reduce your odds of suffering a catastrophic injury, you should take the following steps:
- Read the ladder’s usage instructions
- Place the ladder on a solid foundation
- Avoid placing the ladder in high-traffic areas
- Keep three points of contact with the ladder at all times
- Do not stand on the top rungs
When erecting a ladder, it can be tempting to watch its feet while ignoring its top. Still, if your ladder entangles with overhead power lines, you may have an electrocution risk. The same may be true if you work with corded power tools while on a ladder or place your ladder on wet surfaces.
Work-related soft-tissue injuries are not exactly rare in any industry. Because ladders can be both heavy and awkward, you may strain your back or neck when moving one. You may also tear ligaments in your shoulder.
Ultimately, if you sustain an on-the-job injury when working on or near a ladder, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to help you through your recovery.