The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act states that every employer in the state must have workers’ compensation coverage. Coverage is mandatory unless an exception applies. The construction industry has a high rate of workers’ compensation claims. But one thing that can possibly reduce injuries is the safe use of extension ladders. Falls and electrocutions can occur when extension ladders are used improperly.
How does an extension ladder work?
An extension ladder is a portable ladder that has two sections. Each section has its own guide or bracket for adjusting the length. An extension ladder is hazardous because it’s not self-supporting. Unlike a traditional ladder that stands on its own, an extension ladder must lean against a sturdy structure.
Safe use of an extension ladder
Employers are expected to train workers in the proper use of an extension ladder. Training is the best way to reduce injuries and workers’ compensation claims. For example, workers should know to face the ladder when descending or climbing. They should also know to avoid climbing the ladder while carrying tools.
Extension ladder weight capacity
The weight capacity of a ladder plays a role in its safety. Placing too much weight on the ladder can possibly cause it to collapse. A ladder rated as “extra heavy duty” can withstand up to 375 pounds. But a ladder rated as “light duty” can only withstand 200 pounds. There are also extension ladders that support 300, 250 and 225 pounds.
Extension ladder safety
Safe use of an extension ladder will eliminate or reduce accidents and injuries. Safety practices will also result in fewer workers’ comp claims. Employers who stress the importance of workplace safety generally have a better working environment.