Construction workers are most at risk for ladder injuries, but people in many other occupations are injured in falls from ladders each year. There are several things New York workers can do to make using a ladder more secure. First, it is important to choose the right ladder for the job. Factors include whether it will be used indoors or outdoors, how high the job is and how much weight the ladder can bear.
Ladders should be placed on solid, dry surfaces. If using a soft surface is unavoidable, placing a board under the ladder can make it safer. However, a ladder should not be placed on boxes, barrels or other objects. Ladders should never be placed against such unstable surfaces as window panes. Extension ladders should be fastened to a support. People should be careful when using ladders around doorways.
Climbing the ladder safely is also important. People should face forward and should always have at least one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot on the ladder at all times. Tools should be carried on a tool belt. People should not go higher than the third rung from the top of the ladder.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific guidelines for ladder safety, and workers should be trained in their safe use. Workers who are injured in ladder accidents are usually eligible for workers’ compensation. These benefits can be important for people who are unable to work as they recover from an accident. Workers’ compensation is available regardless of who is at fault, but if the accident happened of faulty ladder construction or unsafe workplace practices, another party might also be financially liable. An attorney may be able to provide more guidance in this regard.