Ladder accidents result in about 20,000 injuries and 300 deaths each year. These are preventable!
National Ladder Safety Month
March is National Ladder Safety month, and the goal of this focus is to promote ladder safety and home and at work. Employers are encouraged to teach workers how to prevent ladder accidents. OSHA and the American Ladder Safety Institute offer resources to help employers learn more about ladder safety. OSHA offers an online e-tool with requirements for ladder safety that you may want to check out, and you can see additional information about Ladder Safety Month here.
Want some quick tips on ladder safety? Here are several best practices recommended by OSHA to follow that will help you keep your ladder accidents down:
- Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
- Avoid electrical hazards! Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
- Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
- Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing.
- Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
- Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
- Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
- Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
- Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
- Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
- Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
- An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support. Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
- The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface.
- A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
- Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
- Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.
If you have questions about ladder safety, feel free to give us a call at (864) 873-7397 and we’ll schedule a time to talk.