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Using a ladder safely often takes more time 

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Ladder falls are a significant danger for those in the construction industry and in many other industries – painting, window washing, roofing, general maintenance and upkeep, etc. In these types of professions, injuries from falls are common – they are the top reason for fatal injuries in construction, for example – but that doesn’t mean that workers can avoid the risks. They still have to use ladders.

Part of the issue here is that using a ladder safely and correctly often takes longer. Workers may feel the pressure of meeting a certain deadline. Their boss may actually pressure them to hurry and get the job done quickly. But if there’s this emphasis on rushing and trying to be as productive as possible, rather than trying to be as safe as possible, falls are much more likely.

Skipping important steps

One way that this happens is when workers skip over safety steps that they would otherwise take. A worker should read the safety information on the ladder and check to make sure that it’s set up correctly, for instance, but they may just immediately start climbing. Workers should also avoid carrying parts and materials up the ladder so that they can keep three points of contact at all times, but a worker who is trying to be efficient may bring those tools or materials with them.

Another example is if a worker is at the top of a ladder and they can’t quite reach something that they need to adjust to finish the job. The worker should climb down the ladder, move it to the side, climb back up, and then address the issue. But this takes a lot longer than simply trying to lean to the side – and many workers fall when they do. 

Since falls are such a common issue, all injured workers need to understand how to seek proper workers’ comp benefits after an injury.