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Stay safe if you regularly use a ladder on the job

Do you spend a lot of time climbing up and down ladders in your New Jersey construction job? You probably don't think very much of your ladder use and how dangerous ladders are, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certainly has.

To avoid accident and injury while you're on the job, you should follow all of the advice that OSHA offers on the subject of ladders.

Advice on safe ladder use from federal regulators

Here are the most important general requirements from OSHA for safe portable ladder use:

  • Read the labels on your ladder and follow the safety recommendations.
  • Keep your ladder far away from any electrical hazards.
  • Inspect your ladder for damage before climbing onto it.
  • Keep three points of contact on your ladder at all times. This means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
  • Only use your ladder for its intended purposes.
  • Don't use step ladders as if they were leaning ladders.
  • Keep slippery materials off the ladder rungs.
  • Never stand on the top step or top rung of the ladder, and don't stand on the top three rungs of the ladder.
  • Only set a ladder up on stable and level surfaces.
  • Don't place your ladder on a barrel or box or any unstable surface.
  • Don't move or shift ladders while equipment or people are on them.
  • Always make sure your ladder extends three feet or more above its support point.
  • Engage all locks on extension ladders.
  • Never exceed the ladder's maximum load.

Did you get hurt after falling off a ladder at work?

If you suffered a serious injury as a result of falling off a ladder on the job, you will likely be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Injured New Jersey workers can usually pursue workers' compensation benefits following a serious accident. A successfully navigated workers' compensation claim will bring workers money to pay for medical care, money to pay for time spent unable to work and other forms of compensation.

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