This March we celebrate the 5th National Ladder Safety month which is designed solely to raise awareness about ladders and the safety risks which come with their use.
Hundreds lose their lives each year through ladder related accidents in the home and at work, many of which could easily be preventable.
National Ladder Safety Month Aims to:
- Lower the amount of ladder-related injuries and fatalities
- Increase ladder safety training certificates
- Increase the frequency that ladder safety training modules are viewed
- Lower the rankings of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s yearly “Top 10 Citations List”
- Increase in-person ladder training sessions
- Increase the number of companies and individuals that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders
Our Tips for Ladder Safety Month
Ladder Safety Tip 1 – Using the Right Ladder For The Job
Ensure you are actually using a ladder.
Too often, people just grab the closest thing to them and end up standing on buckets or chairs instead of taking a few minutes to go get the right ladder.
When choosing a ladder, make sure it is tall enough for the job. Per ANSI standards, ladders are marketed and sold by the total height, or the total section length, not the usable height.
Ladder Safety Tip 2 – Inspect The Ladder Before Use
Always carry out a pre-use check on equipment to ensure there are no defects or visible issues with the ladder(s). Check the stiles and ensure none are bent. Ensure locking mechanisms are in place. Check the rungs. Check the platform. Check the steps and tread.
Ladder Safety Tip 3 – Never Stand on the Top Step of a Ladder
You should never stand on the top cap or use the top step of a stepladder (or A-frame).
In practice, you should be 4 feet off the ground if you are using a 6-foot ladder.
Ladder Safety Tip 4 – Maintain Three Points of Contact
Use the top 2 feet of a ladder to hold onto or lean against to maintain your three points of contact.
Ladder Safety Tip 5 – Ladders And Roofs
Extension ladders are sold by the total length of the sections and only mention the 3 feet of overlap in small print. A 20-foot extension ladder is two 10-foot sections, but because of the overlap needed, it is only 17 feet tall. If you are using it to climb on a roof, you should have 3 feet of ladder above the roofline to give you something to hold onto as you transition on and off the ladder.
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