Ladders are one of the major causes of fall related fatalities, according to the National Safety Council. It is estimated that in any given year, 65,000 individuals receive emergency room treatment due to ladder accidents. Most ladder accidents happen at 10 feet or less from the ground and as you are descending.
Here are some safety suggestions for using ladders:
- Always take proper precautions when choosing a ladder based on the type of work being done, the weight the ladder must carry, and the condition of the ladder. Make sure that the weight rating will support the weight of the worker plus materials/tools.
- Keep in mind that the length of ladder is different from its usable length. Make sure that the ladder is long enough for the job. Never stand on the top step of a ladder or the top three rungs of a straight or extension ladder.
- Examine the ladder for any defects or features that can be potentially dangerous.
- Protect your ladders by storing them where they are protected from the weather and other damage.
Always read and follow all instructions going with ladders, properly set up the ladders, and use good sense while working on ladders. Businesses need to use Type II, I, IA ladders. Type III ladders (home use) are not built for the extra use that workplace ladders experience.
More related information is available at the following links:
- RS SafetyTV Ladder videos
- RS Safety Library – Ladder Safety document
- SAFEME Essentials app has a ladder module
WR employs Rick Means as Director of Safety & Education to our members. He’s available to help outline safety plans and to suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, x118 or at [email protected]