Soffietti, Johnson, Teegen, Argueta & Bawcum, LTD

Your profession may call on you to use a ladder day in and day out. For example, if you're a roofer, climbing up and down a ladder will soon become second nature.

As helpful as a ladder can be on a job site, it's also a big safety risk. Here are five ladder safety tips to follow at all times:

  • Inspect your ladder before use: Don't assume that your ladder is in good working condition. Instead, inspect it for damage or defects, such as rust or missing rungs, before taking the first step.
  • Place the ladder on firm and level ground: Where you place your ladder is every bit as important as what you do once you're on it. Firm and level ground gives your ladder a solid base for bearing your weight.
  • Don't carry heavy loads: You can carry some items on a ladder, such as lightweight tools, but heavy loads are a no-no. Carrying a heavy item increases the risk of being pulled to the ground below.
  • Watch where you set the ladder: For example, if you set your ladder too close to vehicle or pedestrian traffic, you run the risk of someone or something knocking into it while in use. Do your best to place your ladder in an area that's out of the way.
  • Maintain three points of contact: You have four points of contact, including two feet and two hands. Maintaining a minimum of three points of contact at all times will enhance your safety.

Even if you follow these five ladder safety tips, you could still suffer an on-the-job injury. If this happens, do the following:

  • Stay where you are
  • Examine yourself for injuries
  • Ask coworkers for assistance
  • Administer first aid
  • Call 911 for transportation to a local hospital
  • Report the accident and your injuries to your employer

After receiving medical treatment, you'll better understand your injuries and prognosis for making a full recovery. If you're unable to immediately return to work, file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. This compensation will provide peace of mind as you focus on making a full recovery.

Visit our website and read our blog for additional tips and guidance pertaining to workplace accidents and the workers' compensation system in Illinois.

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