The American Ladder Institute (ALI) has identified March as National ladder Safety Month. This movement is dedicated to ladder safety awareness in an effort to decrease the number of ladder related injuries.
Every year, over 100 people die in ladder accidents, and thousands more suffer disabling injuries. Every step matters. From a simple step stool to a large extension ladder, make sure you’re putting the right foot forward.
Please see the FREAS SharePoint page under Safety for more information on this topic and recently issued safety messages.
Extended Safety Message:
- Ladders are involved in 20% of fall injuries among general workers, and account for over 80% of all construction worker fall injuries.
- OSHA General Industry Standard 1926.1053(b)(15) requires that ladders be inspected on a periodic basis.
- Choose the right ladder for the job regarding the work you will be performing and the environment and conditions where the ladder will be positioned. Check for any JHA.
- It is every ones responsibility to ensure that the ladder they are about to use is in working order.
- Visually inspect the feet and foot pads to ensure the ladder will be stable and not slip.
- Inspect the rungs, side rails, feet, braces, locks (dawgs), top cap, rope and the pulley assembly to be sure that all parts are not damaged and are working properly.
- Make sure the manufacturers labels are readable and have not been marked or painted over.
- If during a per-work inspection you find a defect or problem with a ladder, (Do Not Use) tag the ladder to identify the issue and report it to your supervisor as soon as possible.
- Never attempt to repair a ladder by using screws, wire, bolts or duct tape. Always replace it.
- Safety tags that read “Do Not Use” or “Do Not Operate This Equipment” are available from your supervisor or the EHS Department.
- If the identified defect hazardous and cannot be repaired, cut at least one leg off the ladder and place in the appropriate trash receptacle so it can never be used again.
- Never use a step ladder in a folded position as an extension ladder.
- Remove any mud, grease, oil and other dirt to avoid potential slip/fall hazards.
- Always wear the proper shoes when using a ladder; never smooth, flat-bottom footwear.
- Minimize the amount of tools & materials you carry or use on a ladder. Think ahead.
- Never carry tools or other objects with your hands when using a ladder; use a tool belt or bucket and rope to get tools where they are needed.
- Whenever possible, have a second person “foot” the ladder to help prevent ladder movement.
- Do not use a ladder in high winds or storm conditions. Check with your supervisor.
- Climb slowly and deliberately and avoid any sudden movements; always use 3-points of contact.
- Never attempt to move a ladder while you or someone is standing on it.
- Never position a ladder in front of a doorway that can swing open toward the ladder.
- When using extension ladder for access to an elevated surface, ensure that at least 3-feet of the ladder extends above the surface to allow handholds when stepping off and onto the ladder.