Ladder safety during the holiday season
Richmond, B.C. – As the calendar turns over to December, many thousands of British Columbia workers and homeowners will be decorating homes for the holidays and WorkSafeBC is reminding everyone to undertake this work safely, especially when using ladders.
“Ladders are a frequent source of injury in B.C., since 2006 there have been more than 9,300 work-related injuries due to ladder falls in B.C. and 17 work-related deaths,” says Dan Strand, WorkSafeBC director of Prevention Field Services. “Everyone can reduce their risk of injury by selecting the right ladder for the job, ensuring that it's in good condition and taking the time to set up and use safely,” says Strand.
More than 930 workers in British Columbia are injured each year due to falls from ladders, so before putting up holiday lights and decorations at heights, WorkSafeBC reminds everyone — employers, workers and homeowners, to follow these straightforward safety tips.
Using ladders safely
- Use the right ladder for the job — step ladders and straight ladders are used in different situations
- Ensure the ladder is in good condition and strong enough for the job
- Never hang lights from the top two rungs or steps of a ladder
- Keep body weight between the ladder supports
- Wear slip-proof footwear
- When climbing, face the ladder and use both hands to grip the side rails or rungs
- Ensure three points of contact with the ladder at all times
While using ladders can be hazardous regardless of a person’s age, serious injuries due to falls from ladders are most prevalent among British Columbia workers aged 25 to 44 years.
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors that serves 2.3 million workers and more than 225,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.
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