Ladders are one of the chief sources of injury and death in a place of work. The stunning price tag linked to this has caused a rise in costly workers comp insurance claims as well as a reduced labor force.
As per a current Bureau of Labor Statistics, accidents involving ladders have resulted in more than 150 worker deaths and 20,000+ injuries in 2015. In the past 2 years, ladders were placed at number 7 in the OSHA’s index of leading 10 workplace violations.
In order to bring an understanding of ladder safety to the public, March was selected as National Ladder Safety Month.
Tips on Keeping Ladder Use Safe
- Never use a ladder for anything other than what it was designed for.
- Never improvise a chair, barrel or other item as a ladder.
- Be sure to check your ladder for loose or missing rungs, hardware, splinters, corrosion or other failings, any of which should nix it for use.
- Prior to positioning your ladder, inspect for overhead electrical wiring or other impediments.
- Make certain the space around ladder’s base and top is free of debris, tools and other things.
- Place appropriate barriers around passageways, driveways or other high traffic zones where ladder-use is necessary.
- Lock doors shut before doing ladder-work in a doorway.
- Position the ends of the ladder 1/4 of the of the ladder’s length from the base of the wall.
- Avoid slipping by leaning the two sides of an extension ladder onto the topmost support and securing the ladder.
- Your ladder should extend a minimum of three feet beyond any high area like a roof or scaffold that you wish to step onto.
- Be sure to position your ladder onto a steady, level base.
- Have the bottom of extension ladders secured to prevent a slip.
- If feasible, someone else should hold the ladder while in use, particularly if there aren’t any slip-proof feet or secure blocking.
- Never position a ladder on top of box, cart, table scaffold, ice or any other capricious surface.
- Make certain extension ladder locks are in place and step ladder stretchers are completely drawn out and locked.
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Summary: Prevent workers comp claims by observing National Ladder Safety Month with these important guidelines.