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4 tips to improve ladder safety

As a construction worker, you know that you are at risk every time you set foot on a construction site. You also know that if you are hurt, you may have to miss work for days, weeks or even months. Staying safe on the job is your number one priority every day that you punch your time card. Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, sometimes it is impossible to avoid an accident. When this happens, and you suffer an injury, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. If you have suffered an injury on the job, an experienced attorney in New York can help you file a workers' compensation claim.

One of the leading causes of work-related injuries are ladder accidents. When you are working directly with a ladder, there are certain procedures to follow in order to improve your safety. Read further for four tips to stay safe while using a ladder.

1. Choose a ladder that can bear the load

Foldout ladders and leaning ladders have load limitations. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), these ladders must be able to withstand at least four times your intended load. If the ladder you intend to use does not meet these standards, then you should consider choosing a different ladder. Extra-heavy-duty metal or plastic ladders must only support three and one-third times your load.

2. Use the proper angle

When you are working with a non-self-supporting ladder, it is important that you lean it against the wall or support at the correct angle. In general, OSHA states that you should lean the ladder so that the distance from the base of the wall to the foot of the ladder is a quarter of the length of the ladder's working height. If you are working with a wooden ladder, the horizontal distance should be one-eighth.

3. Check the rungs

In order to maintain reasonable safety standards, the ladder rungs should be level, evenly spaced, and parallel when the ladder is ready for use. OSHA standards require that the rungs be between 10 and 14 inches apart. However, different kinds of ladders have different standards, so be sure that any ladder you use meets the OSHA requirements for its specific type.

4. Avoid slipping

When working with a ladder, the last thing you want to do is slip. In order to avoid slipping from a ladder, take time to ensure that each rung is free from any type of substance that might cause you to have an accident.

If your job requires you to work on a ladder, be sure you follow the above safety tips to limit your chances of an accident. However, sometimes it is not always possible to avoid every accident. If you have been injured on the job, contact a New York attorney for help filing a workers' compensation claim.

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