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Ladder safety in the workplace

Prevention is an important component of safety in the workplace. Workers in Minnesota should observe safety precautions in the workplace to avoid falls. This includes being careful while using ladders. Only ladders in compliance with standards set by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration should be used in the workplace. A fall from a ladder can result in more than just a minor injury; it could be fatal.

Ladders should be inspected prior to use for any parts that are broken or not working correctly. It is important that too much weight is not placed on the ladder as well, and the ladder should not be unsteady. The ladder must be positioned correctly. This means placing the ladder so that the side rails are a minimum of three feet above the landing. Side rails should be secured to a rigid support at the top, and individuals should use a grab device if it is not possible to use the ladder extension.

If an individual is using the ladder in the workplace and falls from the ladder or is injured in some other way, it may be possible to file a worker's compensation claim. Even if the injury seems minor, the individual should seek medical attention because there could be a complication that is not immediately noticed. For example, the individual might not realize how bad a sprain is until a day or two later.

That individual could then file for worker's compensation. It is not necessary for the employer to have been negligent regarding safety in order for the employee to be eligible for worker's compensation. However, the individual may wish to consult an attorney before filing the claim because the process can be complex.

Source: OSHA, "Preventing Falls", November 13, 2014

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