One of the most frequent causes of accidents, slips and falls cause nearly 12,000 deaths and 300,000 debilitating injuries each year in the U.S. Avoid falling on your boat by following these simple steps.
Watch where you walk
Look down continually so you don’t trip over something, such as tools, rope, shoes or a toolbox. When working at night, make sure the area is well-lit.
Wear proper footwear
Make sure boat shoes are in good shape and right for the job. Discard worn-out shoes with smooth soles and other defects. If conditions are wet and slippery, wear non-skid shoes or boots. Avoid leather soles, which have poor traction especially on smooth surfaces.
Use ladders correctly
Never use broken or defective ladders. Set the ladder’s angle at the proper 4-to-1 ratio (height-to-width angle). Ensure the ladder is on solid footing and won’t move when you climb. When possible, tie your ladder to your boat to improve stability. Never stand on the top two steps of stepladders.
Do’s and don’ts
- Do wear shoes with good support—not sandals, high heels or your bare feet.
- Do slow down and use extra caution in bad weather.
- Do get a firm grip on your ladders, rails or handles.
- Do look for obstacles on the ground.
- Don’t climb down a ladder with something in your hand. Lay the object down and reach up for it or have someone hand it to you.
- Don’t jump from a ladder. You may land on an uneven surface and fall.