If you work in construction, you may regularly find yourself high above the ground. After all, you may have to climb onto a ladder or scaffolding to frame higher stories, install finishes or run electrical wires. Before you do so, though, you should know that falls are the deadliest type of construction accident in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls accounted for 36.4% of all construction fatalities in 2019. The second-leading cause of construction fatalities was struck-by accidents, which accounted for just over 15% of construction fatalities that year.
Stay safe when working on ladders
To decrease your chances of suffering a serious injury or dying at your construction job, you should always use ladders safely. To do so, it is beneficial to keep two strategies in mind.
First, you should always have three points of body contact with any ladder you are on at all times. This means you either have both hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder when you are working on high jobs.
Second, you should position the ladder securing by implementing the 4-to-1 rule. According to this rule, the ladder should be exactly one foot from the building for every 4 feet in height. For example, if your ladder reaches 20 feet up a wall, its feet should be 5 feet away from the base of the wall.
Wear a safety harness
If you work at heights that are unreachable by a ladder, you should not forget to put on your safety harness. Furthermore, because safety harnesses wear out over time, you should always inspect your harness before donning it. If there are any signs of damage, you must obtain a new harness before beginning work.
Ultimately, because you cannot eliminate your injury risk even when implementing safety techniques, you should be ready to seek workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries you sustain in a fall.