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A workplace ladder accident can cause serious injury

It's not uncommon to find yourself using a ladder at your place of employment. For example, if you work as a painter or in the construction industry, the use of a ladder may be necessary to complete a variety of projects.

Even though you want to complete the task at hand in a timely manner, don't take any risks with your safety. A ladder accident can result in serious injury, such as a concussion, broken bones and internal organ damage.

These five ladder safety tips will help you avoid trouble:

  • Never use a defective or damaged ladder: Before use, inspect the ladder for anything that could present a problem. For instance, if you notice rust on the rungs, you shouldn't use the ladder.
  • Watch your placement: It's best to place a ladder on firm and level ground, as this reduces the likelihood of it tipping. A ladder that's placed on uneven ground, for example, will become wobbly as you climb higher.
  • Don't carry a heavy load: There are better ways to get heavy loads to height (and back down). Carrying on a ladder greatly increases the risk of an accident, since the weight could easily pull you to the ground below.
  • One person on the ladder at a time: There's never an acceptable time for more than one person to use a ladder simultaneously. If another person is using a ladder, wait until they are done to take your turn.
  • Use the right size ladder: A common mistake among many workers, using the wrong size ladder can cause you to lean, stretch or jump. An adjustable extension ladder is often the best option, as you can adjust it to suit your needs.

Even with the guidance of these five ladder safety tips, you could still be injured in an accident. Maybe you slip and fall off a ladder because you're not watching what you're doing. Or maybe another person bumps into the ladder while you're climbing.

If you're injured in a ladder accident at work, administer first aid and call 911 if necessary. Also, report the incident to your employer. Doing these things will make it easier for you to file a workers' compensation claim should you be unable to immediately return to work.

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