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How can you avoid unexpected injuries on stairways and ladders?

Although there are many safety precautions already in place, it is always important to keep in mind tips that can help you avoid injury while working. Stairways and ladders are common places that many workers do not assume can be dangerous. However, unexpected hazards can cause painful or even fatal injuries. 

One of the most important things to keep in mind while choosing a ladder for a job is to choose one that does not have any irregularities. The irregularities could be issues such as grease or liquids on it that may be slippery, labels or paint that may cover unknown weak spots, or any defective pieces of the ladder that may break while you are using it. Once you realize a ladder has one of these issues, you have an obligation to tag the ladder with a warning and place it somewhere so it gets thrown out or repaired. Careful consideration for each ladder is important, since one small issue can lead to a devastating fall. 

Stairways are another common but overlooked area for potential injuries. The treads on the stairwell must be clean and easy to walk on, otherwise you could easily slip. Fixing any regulation issues that could impede safety is a priority. Additionally, handrails are a requirement on stairways with four or more risers more than 30 inches tall, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Keeping a close eye on your footing will also save you from slipping while carrying items. 

Keeping these tips in the forefront of your mind while working can prevent future injuries.