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Ladder safety for all workers

Imagine going to work on Monday, ready for a busy week of wire installation at a Chicago construction site. Unfortunately, the installation requires you to spend a significant amount of time on a ladder which is where things can get tricky. As you climb the work ladder for the thousandth time, a rung breaks and you fall. While this may seem like a rare scenario, a ladder fall is actually a daily occurrence.

Whether you spend enough time on a ladder that it seems like second nature or you're new to a job that requires daily ladder use, it is important to remember ladder safety techniques every time you use one. Falls from ladders are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries.

Here are some ladder safety tips that can help you avoid an injury when you are on the job.

When not to use a ladder

There are certain conditions where you should not use a ladder. For example, if you are tired or dizzy, you should not be climbing on a ladder. Also, if you have a tendency to lose your balance you should not be on a ladder. If you are working outside and there are high winds or stormy conditions, you should definitely avoid spending time on a ladder.

Use the right shoes

When it comes to using a ladder, footwear matters. Be sure your shoes are clean and have good traction. Avoid wearing shoes that have leather soles or are not slip-resistant.

Do an inspection

Before you set foot on a ladder, take the time to inspect it to make sure it is in appropriate working condition. If any of the rungs or joints are loose, choose another ladder. In addition, if the ladder sways or leans to one side, you should reject it.

Choose the right size

The size of the ladder you use also matters. If the ladder is too short, you could find yourself stretching or leaning to reach the area where you need to work. This could cause you to overbalance and fall. Also, the ladder should be rated high enough to support your weight along with the weight of the tools and supplies you intend to carry.

In addition to the above, you should remember to place the ladder on firm and level ground and use the three point-of-contact climbing rule to reduce your chances of an injury.

Unfortunately, even if you follow all safety protocols, you could still suffer a workplace injury due to circumstances outside your control. If this happens, you might be able to file a workers' compensation claim and receive the benefits you need to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

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