WorkSafeBC, the provincial workplace safety watchdog, is warning both homeowners and workers to be extra cautious this December. In particular, the organization is concerned for those working from dangerous heights this holiday season. The focus of their most recent message is practicing safe ladder usage to avoid a workplace accident.
At this time of year, many workers find themselves working on ladders. Whether putting up decorations, stocking shelves or clearing snow and ice from roofs, it is always important to be safe when working off the ground. WorkSafeBC reports that more than 930 British Columbia men and women are hurt at work each year in ladder-related accidents. Since 2006, 17 workers have been killed on the job from ladder falls in the province. Serious injuries are most common for workers between the ages of 25 and 44 years old.
To help prevent injury while using a ladder, the organization offers a variety of tips. Proper usage is very important, including keeping one's weight between the uprights, maintaining three points of contact and selecting the right ladder for the job. It is also important to inspect a ladder for defects before using it and to keep it in good condition.
In the workplace, it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure conditions are as safe as possible. This means equipment inspection, safety training and exercising caution, among other factors. A man or woman who has been hurt in a workplace accident may wish to speak to a lawyer about the situation. An attorney familiar with labour law in British Columbia can help assess if it might be possible to receive compensation for lost wages and other monetary damages.
Source: WorkSafeBC, "Ladder safety during the holiday season", Nov. 30, 2016