man working on ladder

March is National Ladder Safety Month

Carter Mario Law Firm in Connecticut is all about helping our local communities – and even those across the country – stay as safe as can be. That’s why we are here to announce that March has been declared National Ladder Safety Month by the National Safety Council (NSC), as presented by the American Ladder Institute.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, there are thousands of serious ladder-related injuries reported each year. Hundreds of people also lose their lives each year due to falling off ladders. Some ladder accidents happen in the home, but many reports come from jobsites, where workers have to use a ladder in their day-to-day tasks, like construction, stocking shelves, and so on.

The primary goal of National Ladder Safety Month is to raise employer and employee awareness of ladder-related dangers in the workplace. If work-related ladder accidents become less frequent, then the total sum of ladder accidents each year will drop significantly. Of course, it is also important to realize that the same ladder safety that applies in the workplace also applies at home.

Here are four safety topics National Ladder Safety Month will cover this year:

  1. Choosing the right ladder: Before you use a ladder, you need to first make sure that it is the right ladder for what you are doing. A ladder’s height and weight rating are crucial. If you overextend on a ladder that is not tall enough, you could tip over. If you put too much weight on a ladder, it can collapse.
  2. Inspecting the ladder before set-up: After finding the right ladder for the job, you need to inspect it. Give it a once-over for any potential issues, like a rickety step or a bent hinge. If the ladder looks good, it is time to set it up. Make sure the ladder is secure and stable before ascending.
  3. Climbing safety: As you are climbing a ladder, you still need to keep safety in mind. Always use three points of contact when climbing, which means you should be touching the ladder with either two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot at all times. You should also not carry so much equipment or items with you that it makes you feel unsteady as you climb.
  4. Safety at the top: The top step or rung of a ladder is the most dangerous, and many ladder accidents happen there. By simple physics, the ladder’s center of gravity is the highest when you’re at the top, which means there is an inherently greater risk of tipping over. Many ladders are not designed to allow people to step or stand on the top step, either. Before you use a top step, be sure to review the safety instructions that should be included on the ladder. It is very likely it will warn you not to use that step for standing, especially if it is a folding ladder.

To learn more about National Ladder Safety Month, be sure to click here and visit the campaign’s official website. If you are an employer who has ladders around the workplace, then you should see if there are any ladder safety webinars you can attend, or if there are ladder safety infographics that you can put in the breakrooms. From all of us at Carter Mario Law Firm, we hope you, your family, and your employers and coworkers all stay safe whenever using a ladder. If you ever need help with a ladder-related workers’ compensation claim filed in Connecticut, please know that you can contact us for assistance 24/7.