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The third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths is falls.  A worker doesn’t have to fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries. Construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls from height-more than seven times the rate of other industries-but falls can happen anywhere, even at a desk job.

Falls are 100% preventable.Whether working from a ladder, roof or scaffolding, it’s important to plan ahead, asses the risk and use the right equipment.

  • Discuss the task with coworkers and determine what safety equipment is needed.
  • Make sure you are trained properly on how to use the equipment.
  • Before starting the job look around for any potential hazards.
  • Set up equipment on level ground.
  • Be sure to check the weather before beginning job. Never work in inclement weather.
  • Make sure stepladders  have a locking device.
  • Always keep two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on ladder at all times.
  • Never lean the ladder against an unstable surface.
  • A straight or extension ladder should should be 1 foot away from the surface it rests on for every 4 feet of height and extend at least 3 feet over the top of the edge.
  • Wear slip resistant shoes and don’t stand higher than the third rung from the top.
  • Have someone support the bottom of the ladder.
  • Never use old or damaged equipment; check before use.

A fall can end in death or disability in the blink of an eye, but if you follow a few simple precautions, you’ll stay safe in the work place.