A ladder is a tool that you may find yourself using at work from time to time. In fact, some jobs can’t be done without one. However, an accident involving a ladder can cause serious and long-lasting injuries that can change your life.

To avoid ladder-related accidents while on the job, there are preventative measures you can take to ensure your safety.

1. Wear sturdy footwear

Your job may require you to work on a ladder outside, and any wet weather can make ladders slippery and precarious. Even when you’re working indoors, ladder rungs and steps might not always be dry.

While some ladder steps have built-in traction to prevent slipping, you can’t always rely on that alone. That’s why it’s crucial to always have sturdy, rubber-soled shoes when working on a ladder. In addition, if you can spot slippery residue on the rung of a ladder before stepping on it, make sure you wipe it clean so that your footwear can be more effective.

2. Maintain the 3-point contact

Most ladder users are familiar with this practice, but it can be easy to fall out of practice if you’ve been using ladders for a long time. The 3-point contact is the safest way to climb while working on a ladder. Always keep either both feet and a hand or both hands and a foot on the ladder at all times. That way, you won’t upset the ladder’s balance.

3. Be mindful of where you place your ladder

Ladder placement can mean the difference between a successful day’s work and a serious accident. Always check to make sure that your ladder isn’t anywhere near a door or window that could open and knock it down. If you’re working around a corner or in an area that isn’t visible to other workers, be sure to put up signs that indicate your presence.

You’ll also want to make sure that you place your ladder on even, dry ground. Uneven or slippery surfaces will increase the chances that the ladder will tip, slide or collapse when you climb onto it.

Protect yourself and your rights at work

Sometimes, accidents can happen no matter how careful or prepared you are. If you are involved in a ladder-related accident at work, it’s crucial that you report the accident and get medical assistance. You can then explore your options when it comes to workers’ compensation to ensure you get the benefits you need to recover.