Did You Know That Falls From Ladders... - 02/01/2016
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Monday, February 1, 2016
Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees start their week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.
Did You Know That Falls From Ladders...
We use portable Ladders at work and at home. Short step ladders are used to access items just out of our reach and larger step and extension ladders help us get to hard to reach areas.
When used correctly, ladders are one of the greatest pieces of equipment ever invented. If used incorrectly, they can be one of the most dangerous!
Did you know that falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination or extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries?
Well they are! So, what do you need to do when you're going to use a portable ladder?
Here's what OSHA says you should do when using a portable ladder:
- 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 purpose.
- 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.
Here are a few things that employers can do to help protect their employees from portable ladder accidents:
- Train employees on proper ladder use.
- Make proper ladder use a performance requirement for the job.
- Require employees to complete a ladder inspection before each use.
Remember - portable ladder safety is something that everyone should practice at home as well as at work. If you see someone using a portable ladder in an unsafe way, let them know. It might be the best thing you have ever done for them!
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U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
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