Did you know March is National Ladder Safety Month?
In a post last week, we discussed how it might come as something of a surprise for people to learn that the American Academy of Ophthalmology has long urged workers to make prevention of work-related eye injuries a priority during the month of March.
As eye opening as this news was, it may come as an even bigger surprise for people to learn that yet another group has decided to use the 31 days of March as a platform to warn about a workplace hazard. Indeed, the American Ladder Institute has designated March 2017 as the first-ever National Ladder Safety Month.
While it’s easy to see how one might be similarly dismissive of the need for an entire month to be devoted to ladder safety, consider that statistics show that as many as 500 workers are taken to emergency rooms every day here in the U.S. as a result of a ladder-related injury.
This naturally raises the question then as to what workers can do to protect themselves from ladder falls and other potentially devastating injuries involving this critical piece of equipment.
According to experts, the answer is twofold: ensuring the ladder is in good condition and using it properly.
Regarding the first point, workers are advised to consider the following steps:
- Before using a ladder, always conduct a thorough inspection to ensure it is safe to use, meaning rungs and side rails are free from any sort of dents, cracks, splits or other damage that could comprise its structural integrity.
- Before using a ladder, always inspect the feet to ensure that the soft material has not worn to the point where it is unable to grip the ground. If this is the case, replace the feet and, if impossible, the entire ladder.
- Consider downloading a free app courtesy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that outlines how to conduct a ladder inspection step-by-step
We’ll continue discussing this topic later this month, examining what proper ladder use actually entails.
In the meantime, if you suffered some manner of debilitating injury on the job and would like to learn more about your rights and your options regarding workers’ compensation benefits, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.