WorkSafeBC is reminding workers, employers and homeowners to use ladders safely, both on the job and while decorating at home for the holidays.
Between 2013 and 2017, seven workers died and there were 4,985 accepted time-loss claims — including 1,667 serious injuries — as a result of falls from ladders across all industries in B.C.
“Falls from ladders are a serious safety concern in B.C., particularly at this time of year when wind, rain and snow pose hazards,” says Jessica Berglund, Senior Manager, Prevention Field Services, for WorkSafeBC. “Using a ladder safely can prevent serious injury or death. This includes choosing the right ladder, positioning it correctly and assessing hazards.”
Tips on using ladders safely:
- Select the right ladder for the job and ensure it is long enough to extend one metre above the upper landing.
- Place the ladder on a firm, level surface and inspect it before each use to ensure it’s in good working condition, looking for cracks or loose rungs.
- Maintain three points of contact while climbing a ladder: two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot.
- Don’t work from the top two rungs of the ladder or have more than one worker on a ladder at once.
- Don’t carry heavy or bulky objects while climbing up or down a ladder.
- Wind, rain, and snow may pose hazards that need to be addressed.
- Check for power lines and ensure a minimum distance of three metres can be maintained at all times before starting work.
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the provincial government. The organization serves approximately 2.4 million workers and 238,000 employers throughout British Columbia. In administering the Workers Compensation Act, the organization is accountable to the public through the provincial government.