South Carolina workers who routinely use stepladders to perform their job duties should be aware of how to remain safe while using them. The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety has provided some advice regarding the proper use of this type of equipment.

Before using a stepladder, workers should verify its load rating to make sure that their weight as well as any tools they will have while standing on the ladder can be supported. In order to have a more stable base, the most appropriate stepladders should be approximately three feet shorter than the highest point the user has to access.

Stepladders that have cracks, are corroded, have rivets that are loose or have any other defective parts should never be used. Before stepping on the stepladder, users should also make sure there are no slippery substances on it, like grease or oil. When using the stepladder, the spreaders and shelf should be fully expanded and the braces locked. Stepladders should only be used on surfaces that are even and firm and should be close enough to the task to not have to overreach. A worker whose knees are above the very top of the stepladder has climbed too high.

Falls from a stepladder can be very serious. Users can avoid them by not climbing, sitting or standing on the top of the stepladder. They should also be the only person on the stepladder and should avoid trying to move it while standing on it.

On-the-job injuries that result from the use of stepladders can result in missed days from work and high medical expenses. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and an attorney can often help an injured victim file a claim for benefits thereunder.