Make sure you understand these safety guidelines for working with ladders to avoid those mistakes and mishaps that can cause injury or worse.
Ladders are an ordinary tool on a job site or in the workplace, so it’s no wonder they account for a high number of fall injuries and death. Misuse of ladders ranks as one of OSHA’s top 10 violations every year, and hundreds of workers are injured every day from ladder-related incidents. Following safety guidelines for working with ladders is key to keeping ladder-related injuries and deaths from occurring in the first place.
Safety Guidelines for Working With Ladders
It’s easy to misuse a ladder, and it might not be immediately clear how such misuse could be dangerous. Following these basic safety guidelines for working with ladders will deter any injuries:
- Use the correct type of ladder for the job, and only use ladders as intended. Don’t use ladders as scaffolding, for instance.
- Follow the information on the ladder’s labels and always make sure you’re working within the ladder’s Duty Rating.
- Routinely inspect ladders for any damage or wear. Remove ladders that are damaged or dangerous from service following safety protocols.
- Ensure the climbing and gripping surfaces of the ladder are clean and free of debris and substances that pose a slipping hazard, like oil, grease, and other liquids.
- Check that your shoes are free of any substances like dirt, oil, or liquid that would cause slipping.
- Always set a ladder on firm and level surfaces at the correct angle and secure it. Don’t place anything under the ladder to level it or increase its height.
- Place a barrier, such as cones, around the base of the ladder to keep people, equipment, and other objects from unintentionally bumping into it.
- Maintain three points of contact.
- Do not carry objects that could cause loss of balance, and don’t use a ladder if you are dizzy or tired.
- Don’t pass materials, cords, or hoses through the ladder.
Providing ladder safety training and enforcing ladder safety guidelines and protocols are also best practices of a company’s safety culture.
Safe Keeper/Safe Climber offers quality fall protection products like safety harnesses, lanyards, and anchors, as well as Safe Climber Ladder Systems.