Ladders are a common tool that many people use daily. However, using a ladder can be dangerous if not done properly. In fact, falls from ladders account for many work-related injuries and deaths each year. There are several common ways people fall from ladders. But being aware of these can help prevent accidents.
Overreaching or tilting to one side is a typical method for people to fall off ladders. That can make the ladder unstable and cause falls. Another approach is improperly securing the ladder, causing it to slip or move. Climbing too high on the ladder or standing on the top rung increases the chance of falling.
In this blog post, we will explore these common ways people fall from ladders in more detail and provide tips on how to prevent ladder-related accidents. Following proper ladder safety guidelines can help keep yourself and others safe while using this important tool.
What Are The Most Common Ways People Fall From Ladders?
Ladders are a common tool used in many different fields and for many jobs, like painting, cleaning, and fixing. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ladder-related injuries are rising. Annually, an estimated 90,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries in emergency rooms, and 700 people die on the job.
Now, I’ll talk about the most common ways people fall off ladders and give you advice on how to avoid them.
When someone stands on a ladder and tries to reach too far, they could fall. To avoid this, ensure the ladder is always in the right spot so the user can reach it without reaching too far.
Incorrect ladder placement
To keep people from falling, ladder placement is very important. Ensure the ladder is on a solid surface and at the right angle. Make sure that the feet of the ladder are clean and dry.
Improper stair set-up
Ladders should always be put on a flat, stable surface, and the closing devices should be fully engaged. If the ladder is not set up right, it could wobble or fall over.
Poor ladder care
Faulty stairs can lead to accidents. Check your ladder for broken screws, cracks, and other damage regularly. If you see anything wrong with the ladder, you should replace it or fix it.
Trying to get too high
If you climb up the ladder too high, you might fall. Follow the manufacturer’s advice about how high the ladder should be, and ensure it is safe before you climb it.
Having to carry heavy things
When climbing a ladder with big things in your hands, you could lose your balance and fall. Instead of carrying something, you should always use a tool belt or lift it.
Wearing improper footwear
When climbing a ladder, it’s easy to lose your balance and fall if you wear shoes with slippery feet or heels.
People should follow proper step safety rules to avoid falling off of them.
What Are Some Of The Most Dangerous Ladder-Related Injuries?
Injuries caused by a ladder can be very dangerous, and some of the most common ones are:
If you fall off a ladder, you could get broken bones, hurt your head, or even die. The height of the ladder and the surface it is on can make a big difference in how bad the fall is.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries:
A person can hurt their back or spinal cord if they fall off a ladder or if the ladder breaks. These accidents can be very bad and leave people unable to work for a long time.
Traumatic Brain Injuries:
A person can get a traumatic brain injury if they fall off a ladder and hit their head on the ground. These accidents can be very bad and cause problems that last for a long time.
Electricity can kill people if they use a ladder near power lines or other electrical dangers. It is dangerous and can lead to severe burns or even death.
Cuts and bruises:
A person can get cuts and bruises if they fall off a ladder or work on a ladder and touch something sharp. Cuts and bruises aren’t as bad as other injuries but can still hurt and lead to infections.
Muscle strains and sprains
Climbing up and down stairs can put stress on the muscles and joints, which can lead to muscle pulls and sprains. That can happen if the ladder is not set up correctly and the user has to stretch or twist to get to the work area.
It is important to use stairs safely and follow all safety rules and suggestions to avoid getting hurt.
Tips On How To Prevent Ladder-Related Accidents
- Before using the ladder, you should always check it to ensure it’s in good shape.
- Use the right ladder for the job by considering things like height and weight ability.
- Make sure the ladder is set up on a hard, level surface. If you need to, you can use leg levelers or ladder stabilizers.
- Keep three points of touch at all times when climbing the stairs. This could be two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
- While on the ladder, don’t reach too far or lean to the side. Instead, move it as needed.
- Don’t try to carry big or large things while you’re on a ladder. Instead, use a tool belt or a rope and pulley system.
- Do not use the ladder when the weather is bad, like when it is raining, windy, or snowing.
- Keep the area around the ladder clear, and tie it down so it doesn’t fall over.
- Teach workers or family members about ladder safety and ensure they know the risks of using a ladder incorrectly.
- Lastly, to use a ladder safely, you should always follow the instructions from the maker and never take needless risks.
Ladder Safety 4 Main Types of Ladder Accidents
Q: Why is ladder overreach dangerous?
A: Overreaching might unbalance the ladder, causing a fall. Keep your weight centered on the ladder, and don’t stretch too far.
Q: How can I test my ladder before climbing?
A: Ensure the ladder’s feet are stable. Ladder stabilizers or tying it to a stable object can prevent it from falling.
Q: Can I stand on top of a ladder?
A: Standing on the top rung of a ladder is risky and can topple it. Use a tall ladder; don’t go higher than the second-to-last rung.
Q: How can I maintain ladder balance?
A: Keep two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot on the ladder. Climb slowly and avoid unexpected movements.
Q: How should I handle a ladder fall?
A: Get medical help if you fall from a ladder, even if you don’t feel hurt. Falls can create hidden internal harm. For future accident prevention, report the occurrence to your employer or supervisor.
In conclusion, falling from a ladder can be lethal. You must know how people fall and take safeguards to avoid ladder falls. Incorrect ladder selection or use, overreaching, and loss of balance are common ways people fall from ladders.
Pick a suitable ladder, place it on a sturdy surface, and utilize safety equipment like harnesses or guardrails to avoid ladder falls. Maintaining three points of contact and never standing on the ladder’s top rungs are additional key ladder safety tips.
By understanding ladder fall causes and implementing preventative steps, people may stay safe and avoid accidents. Remember that ladder safety is everyone’s responsibility and can save lives.