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The do's don'ts of ladder safety on the job

Do you work in an industry in which you use a ladder on a regular basis? For example, if you're a construction worker, it may be common for you to use a ladder to reach the top of a house or commercial building.

There is no denying the fact that using a ladder can make your job much easier. However, here's something to remember: This is a dangerous tool if not used in the appropriate manner.

There are things you should do when using a ladder, as well as things that you have to avoid at all costs. Consider the following points:

-- You should always keep one hand on a side rail, no matter what.

-- You should always make sure you are climbing the center of your ladder.

-- You should keep your body as close to the ladder as you can.

-- You should climb and descend the ladder in a slow and steady manner.

-- You should never lean in one direction or the other, as this could cause the ladder to tip.

-- You should never reach too far over your head when standing on a ladder.

-- You should never attempt to reposition a ladder while you're still standing on it.

Along with all the above, make sure that others on the worksite are aware that a ladder is in use. Even if you do everything right, it only takes one person bumping a ladder to cause a serious accident.

Note: Inspect your ladder before using it. If you recognize any type of defect, opt for another ladder until the problem is fixed.

If you suffer a ladder accident injury, such as a broken bone or concussion, seek immediate medical attention. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to call for an ambulance.

Once you receive treatment and understand your injuries, you can learn more about the cause of the accident and the steps to take next. For instance, if you are unable to return to work, you may be able to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

If you receive a denial letter, it's important to read it from top to bottom to understand your rights. At this point, you may want to consult with an attorney who can help you formulate an appeal.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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