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Ladder safety: A necessary precaution at construction sites

Using ladders safely must be a priority for anyone who is working with one. Without everyone following the proper safety procedures, there is a chance that a worker will suffer an injury that can't be easily overcome. In fact, falls are the top cause of construction worker deaths. You can see why this has to be on the top of the list of safety protocols and precautions.

While ladders are certainly one of the easiest tools for climbing on a job site, they aren't appropriate for all situations. For example, a ladder isn't appropriate if the person is going to have to ascend it with heavy items. Duties that require a person to reach sideways off the ladder aren't safe either. Only jobs that can be completed safely by the person on the ladder should be undertaken. Using lifts or scaffolds is ideal for many jobs that aren't suitable for ladders.

Any ladder on the job site should be placed on stable, firm and even ground. Ladders should never be set up near any doors that will need to open or paths where they could get bumped by workers or passersby. There should be at least three feet of ladder that extends above the top securing point. Ladders should also be placed at an angle instead of straight up and down.

Workers who are climbing ladders should have three points of contact at all times. This must be two hands and a leg or two legs and a hand. Failing to do this can lead to a fall due being unable to balance properly.

Source: Safety Health, "Ladder safety 101," accessed May 24, 2018

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