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Ladder safety can prevent accidents in the workplace

Ladders are a common tool among many Pennsylvania workers. While use of ladders seems rather straightforward, failure to utilize the proper procedures can result in a significant workplace accident. Falls from ladders can cause devastating injuries, and in some cases may even lead to death.

The American Ladder Institute recommends that all workers who regularly use ladders follow some basic safety tips to reduce their risk of injury. For instance, there are a number of actions workers can take to prevent falls from occurring, such as maintaining three points of contact with the ladder during both the ascent and descent (two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet). Accordingly, hands should remain free of work materials when using a ladder. Instead, workers should utilize a tool belt or towlines to carry tools and other necessary items.

Weather is another important consideration when it comes to ladder safety. It's best to refrain from climbing a ladder during stormy conditions, which can make maintaining proper balance that much more difficult. Workers should also be concerned with correct ladder placement. Ladders should not be positioned in front of outward opening doors if at all possible. If there is no other option, the doors should be secured in some way to prevent them from being opened while work is ongoing.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides some additional ladder safety tips. A thorough ladder inspection must occur before each use to identify any damage that could potentially contribute to a fall. Ladders should only be positioned on stable ground and should never be placed on other items in an effort to increase height. Lastly, it's never safe to move a ladder when someone is on it, as this can greatly increase the risk of an injury.

On-the-job accidents often require the assistance of a workers' compensation attorney. An attorney can review the specific details of your case to better identify suitable legal options. 

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