When at work, you have the right to a reasonable expectation of safety. If you work in a role that requires you to take certain risks in order to do your job, such as work from heights or on a ladder, safety measures are critical. Ladder safety should be a priority for your employer, and you should have the training, tools and ability to know how to do your job with minimal risk.
Ladders are important tools in some types of jobs, but they can also cause serious injury or even death if used improperly. Basic ladder safety measures will allow you to do your job with confidence. Proper equipment, training and other simple steps are important, as is knowing how to protect your legal and financial interests if you do suffer injuries in a job-related accident.
Basic rules for employees on ladders
Basic ladder safety will significantly reduce the chance of a fall or other type of accident. Falls off ladders can cause serious and debilitating injuries that may affect your quality of life and ability to work. The following rules and standards will help keep you safe while working on ladders:
- Avoid climbing the ladder if you are dizzy or unbalanced.
- Do not use ladders outdoors if the weather conditions are bad.
- Wear the right shoes when climbing ladders.
- Use a ladder that is the appropriate size for the specific job.
- Only place the ladder on non-slippery and even surfaces.
- Do not allow more than one person on the ladder at a time.
- Do not place ladders in front of doors that could open and hit the ladder while in use.
It is critical to use three points of contact while climbing up or off a ladder. This means the user should be facing the ladder at all times while moving up and down, as well as have one foot and two hands or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times. This reduces the chance the ladder will be unstable and fall.
If hurt at work
If you suffered injuries because you fell off a ladder while at work, you may have a valid claim to workers’ compensation benefits. It is in your interests to seek this type of support as soon as possible after an accident, filing a claim with your employer’s insurance provider promptly. You may find it helpful to learn about your right to these benefits as well as your North Carolina employer’s post-accident procedures.