Ladder Safety

Often times the most dangerous thing to our health and safety can be something that we use everyday, or something that it seems anybody could use without any training. OSHA estimated that 36 fatalities and 24,882 injuries occurred due to falls from ladders. A big factor in this is that workers are not getting the training that they need or become complacent with how they use a ladder.
There are many hazards of working on or near a ladder in the workplace. Here are a few tips that can keep your workplace safer.
Know the workplace that the ladders will be used for. This will give you better insight as to what type of ladder should be used, such as proper height. We can eliminate temptation to use a shorter ladder if the proper height is readily available. This is important because using the top rung of a ladder is unacceptable and creates a hazard. Using a ladder made of the correct material is im-portant. A worker should not be using a metal ladder near power lines, a better choice wood be a wooden or fiber-glass ladder. There are many different kinds of ladders which are acceptable in different situations. Examples of these ladders are: extension ladders, step ladders, A-frame ladders, and many others. Only use ladders as they are intended to be used. A large amount of ladder related accidents come from improper use while climbing and dismounting a ladder. The worker should always be facing the ladder with both hands free to aid in the climbing process. Never should a worker be facing away from the ladder they are on. Adhere to the weight limits of the ladder. If the weight limit is 250lbs don’t allow a 240lb worker with 20lbs of equipment to climb the ladder. This is over the weight limit and could lead to a failure of the ladder. Maintain a proper angle when using an extension ladder, for every four feet up it needs to come 1 foot back. There is also a sticker on the side of the ladder to aid in finding the proper angle. If the angle of the ladder is incorrect, the ladder will become very unstable and should not be used in this condition.
If we plan ahead and know our work environment we will have the right type of ladder with us. Every worker should know how to safely use a ladder. Can anyone contribute a time that ladder safety was involved in your work? Can anyone recall a near miss or accident that could’ve been prevented if that person had better equipment or a better understanding of how to safely use that equipment?

ladder safety