It may be nearly impossible to realistically eliminate all ladder falls, one of the leading causes of on-the-job injuries. It’s like trying to eliminate car accidents. It’s possible in theory, but it continues to happen at an incredible rate.
That said, there are definitely some ways to reduce ladder falls, and keep workers safe. Here are five important tips from experts who researched how and why these incidents took place:
- Use alternatives, like scaffold systems and aerial lifts so that workers simply do not have to spend as much time on ladders in the first place.
- Do more work at ground level, when possible, so that workers do not even have to use ladders or other alternatives. This may not be as fast, but it could increase safety on the job.
- Give all workers proper safety training on the job. Make sure they understand how to use a ladder safely and that they have hands-on practice doing so before they actually have to work.
- Inspect all ladders before use. This should happen periodically, even if the ladder has been used safely for some time.
- Always make sure that the ladder a worker uses is the right one for the location, the task at hand and the worker’s own physical build.
These tips can definitely help, as can an overall focus on safety. Many accidents happen because someone overlooks one of the steps listed above, perhaps trying to get a job done more quickly. Making safety a part of company culture goes a long way.
That said, even these tips will not eliminate all accidents. Workers who get hurt must know what legal rights they have to compensation.