Ladders are a great tool for use at work, and stepladders and other ladders are used in many workplaces. Did you know that one third of fall from height accidents involve the use of a ladder? That equates to around 1,200 injuries and 14 deaths a year. But there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you’re using ladders safely, reducing your risk of accidents.
Tips for using ladders safely
The following tips will help you to stay safe when using ladders at work or at home:
- A ladder should be used for a maximum of 30 minutes in one place.
- They should only be used for light work – if you’re carrying a load of more than 10kg (such as a bucket) then your employer will need to carry out a manual handling assessment.
- You shouldn’t wear a tool belt whilst using a ladder, as this can affect your posture and balance, and you could fall.
- Three points of contact (your hands and feet) should always be maintained, and make sure you don’t over reach.
- There should be a handhold available and you must have one hand free to grip the ladder at all times.
In addition to the above, it’s important to think about where you are using ladders. They should always be used on firm, level ground – although boards can be used if necessary. Clean, solid surfaces are preferred, and if necessary the ladder should be properly secured.
Accidents involving ladders
Most accidents involving ladders are caused by people failing to maintain three points of contact, over-reaching or carrying heavy loads whilst climbing a ladder. You could fall from height, and injuries could range from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones and even concussion, serious head injury and death. If you’re involved in an accident at work, your employer may be responsible, so it’s important to seek advice from a personal injury lawyer.
How to claim for compensation
Here at Accident Advice Helpline, we know that the aftermath of an accident is stressful for everyone concerned – not just the person who has been injured. We’re here 24/7 to take your call on 0800 689 0500 and can offer confidential, no-obligation advice, and a 100% no win, no fee service; so our service is accessible to anyone. Because most claims can be processed in full over the phone, there’s no need to worry about attending court, and our friendly, professional team will be here to offer assistance and advice at every stage of your claim. You can even check how much you could claim using the 30-second test on our website.
Date Published: December 22, 2013
Author: David Brown