If you perform any kind of manual labor, there is a good chance that you will need to use a ladder at some point. Anytime you are high off the ground, you run the risk of falling.

We all know how dangerous it can be to fall even a short distance. You need to make sure that you are physically prepared for your work before you take the first step up a ladder.

Questions to ask yourself before you begin working

To clarify whether a task is safe or not, you should analyze the situation. Ask yourself the following. When you are working high up, will you need to:

  • Hold heavy objects?
  • Be at the top of a long, potentially unstable ladder?
  • Stay up there for a long time?
  • Stand sideways?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, your task may be too dangerous for just a ladder. You should look into a different method of getting up there. A scissor lift or scaffolding with guard rails may be more stable for your work.

Tips for using the ladder

There might be no other option besides a ladder for your task. In this case, you should still follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations for proper ladder use. Make sure that:

  • The ladder is tall enough that you don’t need to stand on the top rung
  • You are wearing proper shoes to avoid slipping
  • The base is secure and level
  • You extend the ladder fully before climbing it
  • Both of your hands are free to climb with
  • Any doors near the ladder are locked

Following these best practices may not completely eliminate the risk of using a ladder–but it can reduce it. If you are injured while using a ladder at work, you may have to deal with high costs of medical treatment while missing work. An experienced attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.