From offices to warehouses, most workplaces in the U.S. have at least one stepladder for employees to use. Whether you climb onto a stepladder several times each day or only once a year, you have some risk of seriously injuring yourself in a fall. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 22,000 workers suffered injuries from falling off ladders in 2020 alone.
Because they have integrated supports, stepladders tend to be safer than extension ladders or other types of ladders. Still, if you do not implement some ladder-safety techniques, you may suffer a catastrophic injury in a fall.
As you may know, stepladders have weight limits. Before stepping onto a stepladder, you should read its safety label to determine how much weight the ladder can handle. Then, you should consider your body weight and the weight of anything you are carrying when deciding whether the ladder can support you.
Even though your stepladder has its own support, you must place it on a solid, dry and clean surface. After all, setting up the ladder on an unideal surface may cause it to shift or collapse. Put simply, you want your stepladder to stay put when you are on it.
It is rarely acceptable to climb onto the top rung of a stepladder. Indeed, to stay as safe as possible, you should have at least three points of contact with the ladder when you are using it. This means you should have two feet plus one hand or one foot plus two hands on the ladder at all times.
Even if you are smart and careful when using a stepladder, accidents can happen. Ultimately, by applying for workers’ compensation benefits, you are likely to have the financial means you need to obtain necessary medical care.