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How to prevent falls while using a ladder

When an Oklahoma resident is using a portable ladder at his or workplace, it's important that certain safety guidelines be followed in order to avoid injuries. According to the Occupational and Safety Health Administration, protection must be used by construction workers at least six feet off the ground, and workers in general industry should use protection when at least four feet off the ground.

To prevent a portable ladder from slipping or moving while in use, it should be positioned so that its side rails extend past the landing by at least three feet. When it is not possible to extend the ladder past three feet, a grab device should be used and the side rails should be secured to a rigid support. A worker should also make sure the ladder will not slip off its support when weight is applied. Workers are encouraged to check ladders for defective parts before use and only utilize ladders that comply with OSHA standards. A ladder should never be used with more weight than it is made to support.

A worker who suffers an injury while on the job may be eligible for workers' compensation. Workers' compensation can provide financial compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and other damages resulting from a workplace accident. Although any injured worker can file a claim, in some situations, a legal representative may prove useful in order to receive proper compensation.

Workers' compensation claims should be filed as soon as possible after the accident occurred. Seeking the advice and counsel of an attorney who has experience in this area can be valuable not only with respect to the preparation and filing of a claim but also for representation if the claim is denied in whole or in part.

Source: OSHA, "Preventing Falls", November 20, 2014

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