Ladders are a major cause of accidents—both in and out of the contracting world. In a typical year, 175,000 people are injured on ladders severely enough to require a trip to the hospital. On the job, nearly 20,000 are injured and over 100 die due to falls from a ladder or scaffolding. What can you do to reduce your chances of becoming a ladder statistic?
The first rule of ladder safety seems like common sense, but can often be overlooked. You must inspect your ladders regularly for defects or damages. If a broken or defective ladder is found, tag it “out of service” and have it repaired or destroyed and disposed of properly. Don’t ever try to use a broken ladder—even if you can’t find another. It isn’t worth the risk. A good rule to live by is to fix the ladder as soon as you can or pitch it.
Now that you know how important it is to inspect your ladders, let’s go over some of the things to look for during an inspection.
Another important aspect of ladder safety is proper usage. Here are some good safety guidelines:
For more information, see www.osha.gov or www.americanladderinstitute.org or https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/mobileapp.html