Working on ladders is often necessary and convenient, but it also brings up some serious risks that you must be aware of. Even just a few feet off of the ground, your odds of being seriously injured in a fall are dramatically higher.
Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce the odds of a fall. That doesn’t necessarily keep you safer if the fall happens, but lowering your odds simply makes it statistically less likely you’ll get injured. Many of these falls are very avoidable.
How you can stay safe
If safety is your main goal, just take a moment to read through these tips before you climb the next ladder:
- Never assume a ladder is safe and in good condition. Always inspect it first.
- Look out for overhead hazards, like tree branches and power lines.
- When climbing, always try to have three points of contact — i.e., two feet and one hand.
- Never lean, reach or stretch to do a job that would be better done by simply moving the ladder.
- Always consider the ground carefully, as a ladder that is in perfect condition is still dangerously unstable if it’s on an unsafe surface.
- Check the load rating for the ladder, especially if you’ll have tools and materials that add to your own weight.
- Use a ladder that is tall enough for the job at hand so you never have to climb to the top rungs.
These tips may reduce the odds of an accident and injury, but they can’t entirely prevent it. Those who do get injured need to know if they have a right to financial compensation. If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident on another person’s property due to their negligence, you may have a viable claim for your damages.