Ladder Safety 101: Top 10 Tips When Using the Most Dangerous Tool in America

Did you know that March is National Ladder Safety Month? Though this month-long observance may seem laughable, it actually plays a significant role in helping spread nationwide awareness about how dangerous ladders can be, especially when misused.

The Most Dangerous Tool In America

According to the Inter national Association of Certified Home Inspectors or InterNACHI, falls from ladders are the leading cause of deaths and slip-and-fall injuries on construction sites. Even more alarming, most of these fatalities occur from falls of 10 feet or less (Source).

Ladder-related falls can also cause a range of injuries, from bruises and cuts to broken bones and severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). In the United States alone, the World Health Organization reports over “164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths” caused by falls from ladders each year (Source).

Due to its deadly reputation, the ladder has been recognized as the most dangerous tool on American worksites by OSHA and other safety organizations.

Practicing Ladder Safety & Proper Usage

With proper ladder use and basic safety precautions, the risk of ladder-related injury and death can be significantly reduced.

From extension ladders at work to stepladders at home, here are our TEN essential ladder safety tips:

  1. Select the right ladder for the job: Use a ladder that is the correct height and weight capacity for the task you are performing.
  2. Inspect the ladder before use: Check the ladder for any cracks, bends, or other damage that could affect your safety.
  3. Set up the ladder correctly: Ensure the ladder is set up on a firm and level surface and that the legs are fully extended and locked in place.
  4. Maintain three points of contact: Keep both feet and one hand or both hands and one foot on the ladder at all times.
  5. Face the ladder: Always face the ladder while climbing up or down.
  6. Don’t lean too far: Avoid leaning too far to either side, which could cause the ladder to tip over.
  7. Don’t overload the ladder: Only one person should use the ladder at a time and never exceed the weight capacity of the ladder.
  8. Use safety equipment: Consider using safety equipment like a safety harness, if appropriate, to prevent falls.
  9. Keep the ladder clean: Remove any debris or other materials from the ladder that could cause a slip or fall.
  10. Store the ladder properly: Store the ladder in a dry and secure location when not in use to prevent erosion, rusting, and rot.

Visit OSHA.gov for more life-saving ladder information and safety guides.

Injured on the job site in Missouri? Our legal team at Northland Injury Law is here to help! Text “HURT” to 22222 or call 816-327-7627 today for a FREE personal injury consultation with our top-rated, highly experienced attorneys.

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