Although ladder safety may seem like common sense, more than 6,000 people die from falls each year and over 30,000 are injured. It is important to understand the potential risks and how to avoid them when using and working with ladders. These tips will help you inspect your ladder and learn the proper ways to use a ladder on the job site or at home.
Ladder Safety Tips:
– If you feel tired, dizzy, are unwell or are prone to losing your balance, do not use the ladder.
– Do not use ladders in high winds or storms.
– Always wear clean, slip-resistant shoes.
– Before using a ladder, inspect it to confirm it is in good working condition.
Do not use the ladder if:
- There are any loose or missing parts.
- The ladder sways or leans to one side.
- There is any damage to the legs, rungs or locking mechanisms.
– Only use a ladder that is the correct size for the job. Inspect that the ladder is the proper height and weight limit before use.
– The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight of the climber, tools, supplies and other objects placed upon the ladder. The length of the ladder must be sufficient so that the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step.
– Always place ladders on firm level ground. Never use a ladder in any type of slippery condition at either the base or top support points.
– Only have one person at a time is on the ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for more than one climber (such as a Trestle Ladder).
– Ladders must not be placed in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder. The door should be blocked open, locked, or guarded.
– Always read the safety information labels on the ladder.
– The on-product safety information is specific to the particular type of ladder on which it appears. The climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this information.
The Three Point-of-Contact Climb
Factors contributing to falls from ladders include haste, sudden movement, lack of attention, misuse, such as overreaching, the condition of the ladder (damaged), the user’s age or physical condition, or both, and the user’s footwear.
Improper climbing posture creates user clumsiness and may cause falls. Reduce your chances of falling during the climb by:
- Wearing clean, slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles to prevent foot fatigue and maximize traction.
- Using towlines, a tool belt or an assistant to retrieve materials so the climber’s hands are free when climbing.
- Climbing slowly and deliberately while avoiding sudden movements.
- Never attempting to move a ladder while standing on it.
- Keeping the center of your belt buckle (stomach) between the ladder side rails when climbing and while working. Never overreach. If you cannot reach an object or area from a safe position, climb down and move the ladder.
When climbing a ladder, it is safest to utilize Three Points-of-Contact because it minimizes the chances of tipping and slipping or falling from the ladder. At all times during ascent, descent, and working, the climber should be facing the ladder. Always have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails. This helps the climber remain stable in the event one limb slips during the climb.
Ladder safety is the only way to prevent serious injury or death when on the job or working at home. Although ladders are a common tool, many take safety procedures when using them for granted and increase the likelihood of an accident. Always review ladder safety procedures and information prior to use. For more ways to protect you and your business, just call us at 1-800-878-3808 today. We have specialized in the mobile cleaning industry for 40 years and will get you the right coverage to keep your business covered.