Ladder accidents are a common cause of both injury and death for construction workers in Long Island and across the country. In fact, falls on construction sites happen so frequently that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists them as one of the fatal four hazards in the workplace.
Before asking you to step foot on a ladder, your supervisor should ensure you have undergone extensive training. After all, inadvertently misusing a ladder may put your life in danger. Using an old, damaged or defective ladder may also be unsafe.
Because wood is susceptible to breaks and deterioration, it may be tempting to remove damaged rungs from an otherwise good ladder. Doing so, though, presents a couple safety issues.
First, you may lose your footing unexpectedly when trying to step over a missing rung. Second, removing rungs from a ladder may weaken its overall integrity, making the ladder incapable of supporting your weight.
The ladder’s feet must sit on a strong and even surface. Still, to offer sturdy support for the weight of your body and your tools, the ladder’s feet must be in good condition. If the feet have damaged grips, hinges or supports, the ladder is not safe to use.
With aluminum ladders, dented rails are a recipe for disaster. If the rails that run on either side of the ladder are not in good condition, the ladder may collapse. Consequently, before using an aluminum ladder, you should inspect its side rails for visible signs of damage.
An unsafe ladder is not only dangerous to you, but it may also put your coworkers’ lives in danger. Therefore, if you deem a ladder is not safe, you should alert your supervisor and mark the ladder as defective.