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How does the point-of-contact ladder rule work?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2023 | workers' compensation, Workplace Injuries |

Humans invented the ladder more than 10,000 years ago. While there have been some advancements in materials and construction, ladders have not changed much. This is because they are easy to use and their design is effective. Still, ladders are responsible for many catastrophic injuries every year.

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, doctors treat roughly 164,000 ladder-associated injuries annually. Sadly, 300 Americans die in ladder-related accidents each year. Employing the point-of-contact ladder rule can save your life.

A way to secure yourself

Falling is your biggest risk when working on a ladder. To minimize your chances of falling, you should maintain three points of body contact with a ladder at all times. You can use two feet and one hand or one hand and two feet. If you are working at elevated heights, you even can lean against the ladder to give you additional stability.

Some exceptions to the rule

While maintaining three points of body contact works with most ladders, it is not possible with step stools and short ladders. If you need to use either of these, you should read through the usage instructions carefully before setting foot on the ladder. Remember, it is often risky to stand on the top of step ladders, so you should pay special attention to any warning notices.

Even if you work responsibly and carefully, some ladder accidents are difficult to avoid. Ultimately, if working with a ladder leaves you with life-limiting injuries, workers’ compensation benefits can make your situation much easier to handle.