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How to climb a ladder with safety in mind

Even if using a ladder is second nature, one mix-up or false step can cause an accident that results in serious injury. This is why it's so important to fully understand the steps you can follow to maintain your safety at all times.

For example, if you work as a painter or construction worker, there won't be many days that pass when you don't use a ladder in some way, shape or form. These five tips will help you maintain a high level of safety:

  • Don't use a ladder if you're exhausted: It's the end of the day, your legs feel like concrete and you're having a hard enough time walking. Even if you need to use a ladder, it's best to reconsider until you have the energy to do so.
  • Keep an eye on the sky: You never want to find yourself on a ladder in inclement weather, such as when the wind picks up or the snow begins to fall.
  • Keep three points of contact: Two feet and one hand or one foot and two hands. This helps you maintain your stability as you're climbing, regardless of the height.
  • Don't skip rungs: You're in a hurry so you decide to take bigger steps, thus skipping rungs on your way to the top of the ladder. This increases the likelihood of losing track of where you are, which could lead to an accident. Take it one step at a time, even if you're in a hurry.
  • Don't carry a heavy load: There are better ways to transport items to height, such as a pulley system. Carrying a heavy load while climbing a ladder increases the risk of being pulled off the side.

Even if you follow these safety tips, among others, you could still suffer an injury in a workplace ladder accident.

The first thing you should do is examine your injury and formulate a plan on what to do next. From there, report the incident to your employer, if possible, so they understand exactly what happened.

After you receive medical treatment and understand your prognosis, it's easier to decide if you're in position to obtain workers' compensation benefits until you recover enough to return to work.

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