Did you know that falls are the number one cause of work-related deaths for construction workers and more than half of these deaths occur working from ladders? This statistic is shockingly true and the need to raise awareness for safety while operating on a ladder is urgent. Workers often overlook how dangerous ladders can be and as a result, they may suffer a severe career-ending injury or in the worst case, death.
Ladders are frequently used pieces of equipment at a construction site. Inspecting them often and making sure they’re working properly can prevent a bad accident from occurring. After awhile, a ladder can become damaged, wobbly, and not secure. Assuming that this is not a problem and continuing to work on an unbalanced platform puts one at high risk for a fall. Inspection of ladders should be done regularly and replacing them when it’s time to can’t be put on the back burner.
The following tips below will help show workers the dos and don’t of using a ladder, according to OSHA’s Construction Industry Standard for Ladders. This information is also useful for individuals outside the construction industry since the Holiday Season is upon us and many people will be using their ladders to string up their Christmas trees. Below are some Do’s and Dont’s while using a ladder :
- Proper Training : Employees should be taught and trained on recognizing hazards, fall protection systems, proper use, handling and placement of ladders, and the maximum load-carrying capacities of ladders.
- Maintain Three Points of Contact : Either two hands and a foot or two feet and at a hand should be on the ladder at all times when climbing up and down. If you have tools, they should be carried by a tool belt or hauled up by a rope.
- Proper Footwear : Proper footwear is so important. Make sure the soles of your boots or shoes have a good grip so you aren’t slipping or sliding off of surfaces.
- Set Ladders up Properly Before Use : Ladders should always be placed on a level surface. Make sure the base and top are secured.Rungs should be locked into place on extension ladders and spreaders should be locked into place on stepladders.
- Do not stand at the very top of a ladder : The fourth rung from the top is the highest point you should be at and any higher will likely result in a loss of balance and fall.
- Don’t overreach : Keep your weight centered between the vertical side rails and your feet should be pointed straight ahead.
- Don’t reposition while standing on it : Never try to shift a ladder in a different direction while you’re still standing on it. Take the few sections to hope off and actually move it from a ground surface. It may feel like an inconvenience, but it can be life-saving.
- Don’t use a ladder with heavy items : Working at a height for an extended period of time with heavy items is not a good idea while using a ladder. Consider a different piece of equipment that will be more manageable for heavy items such as scaffolding.
We are committed to your safety at Frontier Industrial Corporation. Keep these tips in mind while you’re working on ladder. Although they appear to be simple piece of equipment to use, ladders remain to be a leading cause of falls in construction.
Article Adapted From : Osha.gov