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4 tips for ladder safety

As a construction worker, you have been on your share of ladders. You have even had a few narrow escapes. You have also heard about those that were not so lucky. Workplace-related injuries can happen when you least expect them. Fortunately, you can take precautions to limit your risk. However, regardless of the level of safety you practice, some accidents are completely unavoidable.

If you have suffered an injury due to an accident in the workplace, you might be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Filing for benefits can often be a complicated process. For help with your workers' compensation claim, you might want to consider seeking the advice of an experienced attorney in the Buffalo area. Read further for four ways to prevent ladder accidents.

1. Choose the correct ladder

Like with any other worksite job, it is important to choose the right tool. This applies to ladders as well. For example, you do not want to use a ladder that is too short for you to reach the area where you need to work. Many accidents occur because the ladder is too short. Some workers make up for the height by setting the ladder on another object or standing on the last rung. Both of these short cuts can result in very serious injuries.

2. Don't use a ladder with too many "miles logged"

Using ladders that are well past their prime can also have severe consequences. Just like other tools, ladders are designed to handle only so much wear and tear. After only a few years of use, a ladder can start to deteriorate, making it unstable and unsafe. The last thing you want is to be standing on a rung when it breaks. Always make sure the ladder you are going to use is in good condition. Stay away from ones that have bent rungs or frames.

3. Use the ladder for its intended purpose

Stick to the three-points-of-contact rule when you use a ladder. Do not overreach or try to stand on one foot while you are on a ladder. Furthermore, do not make any additions or alterations to ladders that are not intended by the manufacturer. Using a ladder for something other than its purpose might also lead to severe injuries.

4. Place the ladder in a stable area

Another common cause of ladder accidents is instability due to placement. Be sure that when you place the ladder for work, you choose a level and stable area. If you need to place a ladder in front of a door, be sure that the area is secure and you do not risk an accident due to someone opening the door. Also, be sure you place the feet of the ladder so that they do not slip as you are working. Using a helper to ensure the ladder remains stable is a good strategy to keep it from falling.

If you have suffered a work-related injury due to a ladder accident, you might be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. After an accident on a worksite, you might be facing high medical bills and lost wages that these benefits can cover.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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