Most ladder accidents happen as the user makes their way back down from steps less than ten feet in height.
Falls from ladders are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities and permanent impairment. Approximately 65,000 Americans are sent to the emergency room each year from ladder falls.
Stay safe with these ladder safety tips:
- Review ladder safety materials and weight rating. Ladders are made from a variety of materials with different weight limit ratings. Ensure the ladder is made from the right materials for the job and is rated to support the worker’s weight, plus any tools or materials they will be carrying.
- Business versus home ladder use. Businesses need to use Type IA, I, or II ladders – Type III ladders are only rated for home use and will not stand up to the rigors of daily workplace use.
- Ladder height matters. Ensure the ladder is tall enough for the task. Workers should reach the required height without the need to stand on the top three rungs of a regular ladder or the top two steps of a stepladder.
- Watch for wear and tear. Examine ladders for potential defects or damage. Similarly, ensure ladders are protected from unnecessary damage by storing them in weather-resistant locations.
Make safety the epicenter of your workplace by encouraging employees to stay safe and keep these safety tips in mind when using ladders.
Maintaining safety in the workplace and worker safety training is easy with these ladder safety resources:
- SAFEME Essentials has a ladder module
- Ladder safety videos on RS SafetyTV
- The Ladder safety section of the RS Safety Library (members only – login required)
Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, is available to help members with safety. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected]