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5 common causes of ladder accidents

Depending on your profession, you may have to use a ladder to complete your job. For example, if you work in construction or as a painter there won't be many days that go by when you don't use a ladder at least once.

You should become familiar with the most common causes of ladder accidents, as you never know if something bad could happen to you when you least expect it. Even if you have many years of experience on a ladder, it only takes one mistake to cause a serious accident.

Here are some of the most common causes of ladder accidents:

  • Missing the last step of the ladder, thus falling before you make contact with the ground. You need to keep your eyes on where you're going, as neglecting to do so could result in an accident.
  • Overreaching when working on a ladder. You need to remain on balance at all times, as overreaching could cause you to fall to the ground below. If you have to reach too far when using a ladder it's best to get down and reposition it.
  • Using the wrong ladder for the job. For example, if you choose a ladder that's too short to reach the top of a building, you could find yourself getting creative when you reach the top. And that's not something you want to do from a safety perspective.
  • Placing the ladder on soft and/or uneven ground. If you do this, you're inviting an accident. You should only use a ladder if you can find a firm and level area to place it.
  • A person or vehicle strikes the ladder while it's in use. You never want to place a ladder in close proximity to heavy traffic, such as a door or roadway. Furthermore, let other people know you'll be using the ladder so that they can take extra caution.

Even with this knowledge you could still be part of a ladder accident. In this case, you'll want to call for help, stay where you are and report the incident to your employer (if you're capable of doing so). All of this will lead you to receive immediate medical treatment, and to eventually learn more about your legal rights.

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