Being on a ladder if you are a construction worker in Minnesota might seem like a fairly harmless thing to do. However, ladders — especially if they are used incorrectly, are in poor condition, or if you do not have appropriate training and take precautions — can actually be quite dangerous and potentially deadly.
Ladders are frequently used in construction work. Falls in this type of work are common and many of them are ladder-related. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and every year falls from ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. These deaths are preventable.”
One of the foremost rules of ladder safety is probably not to take anything for granted. Don’t just assume that your ladder is in good working order. Don’t ignore your ladder safety training. Take all possible precautions.
Make safety your top priority every time you use a ladder.
There are times when using a ladder might not even be necessary. If you will need to hold weighty or unwieldy items while you are on a ladder, or if you will have to stand on one side to accomplish a task, it might be safer to use another piece of equipment such as a scissor lift.
Observe safety rules when using a ladder on the job in construction
- Have the correct ladder for the task. Use one that is tall enough so you don’t need to be on the highest rung.
- Make sure that the ladder is secured on ground that is level.
- Put on footwear that won’t slip with flat soles.
- Extend the ladder fully prior to beginning work.
- Don’t allow people to walk under or close to the ladder.
- Always have three points of contact, such as both feet and one hand on the ladder.
Your employer has a responsibility to give you training and ensure a safe environment. If you feel this standard is not being met, legal recourse might prevent you and your colleagues from sustaining serious injuries at work.