Help Protect Your Employees from Falls, Serious Injury or Death
Ladders are an important tool used by workers every day. And if a ladder is damaged or is used incorrectly, workers could fall, resulting in serious injury or death.
In fact, in the United States more than 500,000 people are treated – and more than 300 people die– each year from ladder-related injuries. Plus, the estimated annual cost of ladder injuries in the United States is a staggering $24 billion, including work loss, medical, legal, liability, and pain and suffering expenses.
While extension ladders provide a quick and easy method for accomplishing tasks, the safe use of them is a must on jobsites, with these basic ladder safety rules followed:
- Inspect the extension ladder prior to each use to identify damage to the slide rails, anti-slip feet, rope and pulley, rungs, and rung locks. A damaged extension ladder must be taken out of service immediately and disposed of in most instances
- Select an extension ladder that is the right size/height for the take and is the proper duty rating. You should not need to stand on the top two rungs of an extension ladder to access or reach the work area. A good rule of thumb is to use a Type 1- rated or heavier extension ladder that will support 250 pounds or more.
- Make sure the extension ladder is set on a stable level surface and that the ladder’s anti-skid feet are properly set
- The top of the ladder must extend 36 inches above the landing
- Look for overhead obstructions and power lines, set the ladder away from all overhead obstructions. If working near power lines, the power lines should be deactivated by the local power company prior to extending the ladder
- Do not set the ladder in front of a closed door, doorway, or heavily traveled walkway
- Maintain three-point contact (two hands/one foot or one hand/two feet) when climbing up and down an extension ladder
- Always face the extension ladder when climbing up and down it
- Keep the extension ladder rungs free of debris, grease mud, ice, and snow
- Do not overreach when working on an extension ladder. Keep your belt buckle between the extension ladder’s side rails at all times while standing on the extension ladder
Step ladders are a quick and easy way to reach an elevated work area. The safe use of step ladders is a must on job sites. Here are some basic safety rules to follow when using step ladders.
- Inspect the step ladder prior to use to look for damage to the side rails, rungs, and other damage. If a step ladder is damaged, do not repair it. It should be replaced, and the damaged step ladder destroyed.
- Select a step ladder that is the right size/height for the task and that is the proper duty rating. You should not need to stand on the top two runs of the step ladder to reach the work area. A good rule of thumb is to use a Type 1- rated step ladder that will support 250 pounds.
- Make sure that the step ladder is set on a stable and level surface
- Do not place the ladder in front of a closed door, in doorway or in a busy walkway
- Be sure to spread the step ladder’s legs and lock hinges before climbing
- Maintain three-point contact when climbing up and down the step ladder: two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand
- Always face the ladder when climbing up and down it
- Never climb a ladder with your hands full of tools, equipment, or supplies
- Keep the ladder’s steps free of debris, grease, mud, ice, and snow
- Do not overreach when working on a step ladder. Keep your belt buckle between the step ladder’s side rails
Remember; Accidents with step ladders happen when you do not take the time to inspect and properly set the ladder. Falls from step ladders can result in injury or death. Be safe and take the time to use a step ladder safely to avoid accidents.
Click here to review general ladder safety and extension ladder safety from OSHA.