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Ladder safety tips for construction work

After years of working in the construction industry throughout New York, you may feel like you can do your job blind folded. You have seen all manner of accidents and mishaps on the job site, and even managed to avoid some potentially dangerous situations yourself.

Sometimes, after years of experience, it is easy to become complacent about certain things that seem very basic. For example, you may have spent so much time on a ladder, that you barely think about what you are doing when you need to use one. It might be time for an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ladder safety refresher, just to get your head back in the game. Read below for some OSHA ladder safety tips that keep you safe on the job.

Do not exceed the intended load

Both fold-out ladders and leaning ladders are built to hold a certain load. Regulations dictate that portable ladders must be able to support at least four times the maximum load of the particular model you are using. In cases where you might be using an extra-heavy-duty metal or plastic ladder, remember that these only have to carry three and one-third the maximum. Be sure you are using a ladder that can sufficiently support you, your tools, and any other materials you plan to hold while on it.

Place it at the proper angle

When you are using a leaning ladder, be sure you place it at the proper angle. The horizontal distance from where the ladder meets the support surface to the base of the ladder should be approximately one quarter of the ladder's working length. If you are working with a wooden ladder, keep that distance to one-eighth to avoid placing too much stress on the joints.

Rung safety

Be sure the rungs are the proper distance apart, roughly 10 to 14 inches, and that they are level and parallel. In addition, check the rungs for materials or substances that might limit traction.

Other tips

If you are using a fold out ladder, check the locking mechanism to make sure it is functioning properly and always lock it into place before stepping on the ladder. Keep the area clear around the base and top of the ladder to avoid anything sliding or falling that could cause the ladder to slip. Do not get creative with ladder use. Instead, stick to the uses for which the manufacturer designed it.

While brushing up on safety tips can help you avoid an accident at work, sometimes it is not possible to avoid them all. If you suffer a construction site injury, you might be able to take legal action so that you can get the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses and lost wages.

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