Ladder Hazards and Injuries

Did you know that over 500 people will die this year in America from falls from ladders? Over 50% of those deaths happened to people who were carrying items while they climbed. Furthermore, if you fall off a ladder you will sustain a fracture over 32% of the time. Making matters worse, ladder accidents and injuries have increase d over 50% over the last 10 years.

Ladder hazards and injuries are very common at home and at work. Ladder hazards include electrical, fall, impalement, and can result in catastrophic consequences. With all that can go wrong there are typically 4 main types of ladder accidents.

Types of Ladder Accidents:

  1. Using the wrong ladder for the job. Frequently ladders that are too short for the selected task lead to injuries. Furthermore, the weight restrictions can easily be compromised causing falls and injuries.
  2. Faulty placement of a ladder. Always try and find a firm and level surface to place your ladder on. If possible, have someone hold the ladder while you are using it. Furthermore, you can stake the feet of the ladder into the ground if needed.
  3. Damaged or worn ladders. Over time ladders will wear out. Damaged ladders are extremely dangerous and should never be used. Inspect your ladder prior to each use!
  4. Using ladders incorrectly is a major source of accidents and injuries. Always use the ladder as the manufacturer intended. In addition, keep 3 points of contact with the ladder to maintain stability.

Ladders may not always be the best choice for your task. Alternatives include scissor lifts, boom lifts, and scaffolding. Any task over 3 feet in height should be taken seriously. Select a tool that will help you complete the job quickly and most-importantly safely!

Do you or your company use ladders? If so, what types? Can you think of any applications where it may make more sense to use a lift or scaffolding? Have you ever witnessed a ladder accident? If so, what happened? Was anyone injured?

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