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Ladder safety at construction sites must be a priority

People who are going to use a ladder for any project must ensure that they are using the proper safety measures so they can minimize the risk of falls. There are many different things to consider when you are using a ladder, so anyone working with them must take the time to learn the proper safety protocol.

The first thing workers must do is check the ladder for obvious signs of disrepair. These include damaged rungs or side bars. Once this is done, the ladder needs to be set up properly. It must be placed on a solid surface that is dry and free of debris. It shouldn't be completely vertical. Instead, it should be placed at an angle with one foot of distance on the ground for every four feet of height.

At least three points of contact must be made with the ladder at all times. This means either two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet. It isn't safe to carry anything while climbing a ladder, so a tool belt should be used. Also, only one person should be on the ladder at any given time. You shouldn't try to overreach when you are working and don't climb above the third rung from the top.

While construction workers should know the correct way to use ladders, the burden of ensuring safety falls on the construction company. Injured workers can opt to pursue compensation under state laws. This might include workers' compensation for some claims, but accidents that involve defective ladders might require a third-party lawsuit.

Source: National Safety Council, "Ladder Safety One Rung at a Time," accessed May 22, 2018

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