Almost every occupation in the state of California requires the use of a ladder at some point, even if only to reach a file folder on a high shelf. They come in many shapes and sizes from small step-stools and rolling ladders to enormous extension units and folding platform ladders. Don’t let those innocent-looking ladders fool you! These useful mechanisms are full of hazards that could leave you with broken bones or brain damage. In some cases, falling from a ladder may even result in death.
How do workplace accidents involving a ladder occur? In many cases, it is the fault of users who have become too complacent about safety. Other times, the ladder may have been defective in some manner. Below are other common reasons ladder-related accidents happen.
- Skipping steps: Many ladder accidents happen because workers miss a step when descending. For safety reasons, make it a point to descend ladders carefully and never skip any of the steps.
- Wrong ladder: There is a ladder for every type of job. Make sure you always choose a ladder of the right shape and size for whatever work task you are performing.
- Overreaching: Although it is tempting to go ahead and reach over to access another area, it is unwise to do so. Descending the ladder and then moving it into the proper position will prevent a ladder accident.
- Insufficient contact: Safety experts recommend maintaining three points of contact when using ladders. This means two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand should always be on the ladder.
- Uneven ground: To keep the ladder from tipping or falling, make sure the area underneath your ladder is even and clear of debris at all times.
Although you are entitled to workers’ compensation after a ladder-involved injury, it is always better to avoid accidents altogether. If you need assistance with your claim, consider taking your case to a lawyer experienced with workplace accidents.