If you are unsure about the safety or suitability of any item your employer expects you to use, check the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website. They are in charge of promoting and monitoring workplace safety across the country.
Ladder safety is one area OSHA covers with details of how a ladder should be built and how and when you can use them at work. Yet each year, many workers are injured when using ladders.
Falling from a ladder could leave you unable to work
One reason so many people fall from ladders each year is that they do not take them seriously enough. People see ladders as a quick way to reach a point above the ground, faster than setting up scaffolding or putting on a safety harness and roping up. Often the ladder is used for a task that only takes a few minutes. Yet, the consequences of a ladder fall could affect your life and ability to work for years afterward.
Not all ladder injuries come from falls
You do not even need to climb a ladder to be injured by one. A clumsy colleague could swing one around while carrying it and hit you. You could slip and fall while moving the ladder. Or you could be on the ground extending the ladder without realizing you are pushing it into a power line.
Your employer has to provide you with appropriate equipment to do your job safely. If they need you to use a ladder, it must meet the safety standards, and they must ensure you and your colleagues know how to use it safely. Ladder accidents can be nasty, and you will need to ensure you get the maximum amount of workers’ compensation available.