Tips for preventing falls from ladders and for taking action if a fall does occur
Falls at work are a leading cause of injuries, especially in the wholesale and retail sector. In fact, according to the CDC, work-related falls to a lower level caused 12,500 reported injuries in this sector in 2014. This is not only detrimental for employees; it also negatively affects employers since workers missed an average of 7 to 11 days due to falling accidents in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Falling from a portable ladder used to access shelving in a store or warehouse is the most common type of fall accident for workers in the wholesale and retail sector. This type of fall can cause serious injuries, including back injuries, head injuries, sprains, strains, and broken bones.
Tips for Preventing Ladder Accidents
Detailed safety training, along with enforcement of proper safety standards, is key for preventing falls from portable ladders. Here are some of the main tips to keep in mind:
- Inspect the ladder before use to check for any loose rungs or steps
- Make sure the feet of the ladder are positioned on a surface that is level, dry, and clean
- For a free-standing ladder, make sure the ladder is fully open with the spreaders correctly secured
- For an extension ladder, make sure the top of the ladder rests against a stable, secure, non-breakable vertical surface
- Remember that for every 4 feet you have to climb, the base of the ladder needs to be 1 foot from the wall
- Keep both hands free when ascending or descending a ladder—pass items down to a coworker or use a basket or bag to carry them
- Don’t rush
- Watch your step
What to do When Ladder Accidents Happen
Of course, even with the best safety practices implemented, it is possible for a worker to have an accident. When this happens, the worker should:
- Report the accident to the employer
- Get medical treatment
- Report the diagnosis to the employer
- File a workers’ compensation claim
Filing workers’ compensation claims can be tricky, so it’s best to have an experienced attorney help you if you have had any kind of accident at work. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have a thorough understanding of the workers’ comp claims process and we can help you secure the benefits you need and deserve. To learn more, call us at 800-333-0000 for a free consultation.