Ladders are incredibly useful when you need to do something above ground level. They are cheaper, less intrusive and much quicker to set up than scaffolding or mobile work platforms.
Yet they are not without their problems. Falling off ladders is one of the biggest reasons that employees end up injured and need to claim workers’ compensation insurance.
Therefore, if you are thinking about climbing a ladder for work, bear the following in mind:
Has your employer trained you to do it?
Ladders may seem simple, but many people fall because they do not understand how to site them properly or lock the extensions. Your employer should train you first.
Are you dressed for the occasion?
If you are working on a construction site, then you are probably already wearing footwear that provides a good grip. Yet ladders are used in all sorts of workplaces, and if your job calls on you to wear heels or smooth-soled shoes, then they will not give you the grip you need.
Is the area safe?
Many factors contribute to whether it is safe to site a ladder. Is the ground flat and solid? Are there any electricity cables close by? Is the weather going to make it slippery? Could people or vehicles bump into it? Only go up if you are certain all the conditions are adequate.
Is there a better alternative?
This requires an overall assessment of the duration of the task as well as the practicality of using other means of getting off the ground.
If you do go up the ladder and fall, then seek legal help to understand how to claim workers’ compensation.