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Construction workers: Follow these ladder safety tips

If you work in the construction industry, you may spend a lot of time climbing up and down ladders. While this is all part of your job, you don't want to get lazy when doing so. It's important to pay close attention to every step you take, as one mistake could cause a serious accident.

Here are several ladder safety tips to follow:

  • Inspect the ladder before you use it. If you notice any defect or damage, it's important to tag the ladder and remove it from use. There's never a good time to use a defective or damaged ladder, as it increases the risk of an accident.
  • Place the ladder on level and firm ground. Imagine how much more difficult it will be to safely use a ladder if placed on unstable and unleveled ground. There is no reason you have to do this, so avoid it.
  • Let others know that you will be using a ladder. There's a good chance you aren't the only person on the job site, so let other workers know what you're doing. This lessens the risk of someone bumping the ladder, thus causing an accident.
  • Don't carry a heavy load up or down a ladder. With too much weight attached to you, a small shift can lead to the ladder tipping.
  • Don't stand on the top rung of a ladder. Yes, this will allow you to extend your reach, but it will also increase the chance of an accident.
  • Never set a ladder close to vehicular traffic or an exit door. If you do either of these things, there's a greater chance of an accident.

It can be difficult to get into the habit of doing these things, but once you're on the right track it will become second nature.

If, for any reason, you're part of a ladder accident, make sure you receive immediate medical treatment. You need to understand your injuries, the long term impact and the best type of treatment.

Once you do this, find out if you can return to work. If you can't, look into your ability to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

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