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Top causes of ladder accidents: There are many

Does your profession call for the regular use of a ladder? For those who work in the construction industry, as painters, as roofers, as electricians and in countless other jobs, ladders and scaffolding are part of working life.

It's imperative that you understand the top causes of ladder accidents. With this knowledge, you may find yourself making changes to your daily approach that improve your overall level of safety.

Here are some of the top causes of ladder accidents:

  • Using the wrong type of ladder - One ladder is not the same as the next, so you need to be careful as you make a decision with regard to which one you use. Ladder height, weight rating and the material of construction should be considered when choosing the right ladder for the job. 
  • Using a damaged ladder - There are people who assume that a ladder is built to last forever. Before you ever step foot on a ladder it's important to check for damage. If you see anything that could pose a problem it's best to use another ladder, even if that means suspending work for the time being.
  • Incorrect use - It's easy to believe that climbing and descending a ladder is a simple task, however, this is not exactly true. Incorrect use is a major cause for concern. Even workers who know the right way to use a ladder may abandon safety if they feel pressured to take shortcuts.
  • Poor placement - Sloped or unstable surfaces are unsafe choices for ladder placement.

While these are among the most common causes of ladder accidents, there are other issues to consider when it comes to ladder safety. As a general rule of thumb, you should use ladders only in situations that are predictable and normal. It is not a good idea to rig up a solution when it comes to working at heights.

If you are involved in a ladder accident on the job, do these three things:

  • Administer first aid and call for an ambulance
  • Report the accident and cause to your employer
  • Learn more about your right to compensation

Your health should always come first. If you are unable to immediately return to work, you may want to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. This can protect your financial situation and allow you time to recover.

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