Falls from ladders account for thousands of emergency visits every year. They are the leading cause of death on construction sites. Ladder safety is an important aspect in preventing workplace injuries. Make sure you prepare correctly with the right clothes and check your ladder for problems. Next, put your ladder on the proper surface. You should always avoid the top step unless the ladder is specifically rated for its use. And finally, don’t lean over to reach things, just move the ladder. Hopefully, by following these guidelines you can prevent workplace injuries from ladder falls.
Ladder Safety: How to Prevent Fall Injuries
Safety Before Use
First, you’ll want to prepare ahead of time for proper ladder safety. Make sure you’re wearing non-skid shoes and clothing that won’t catch on the edges. Take a look at your ladder and inspect it for any issues. Read all warning labels on the ladder as well. This is because different ladders are for different uses. Therefore, you need to make sure you’ve picked the correct ladder for the job. Never use a ladder while intoxicated or when feeling dizzy. Also, make sure that it’s not too windy when you’ll be up high.
Find the Right Spot
Depending on if your ladder is a freestanding A-frame ladder or a ladder that leans will determine the best place to put it. Ladder safety is dependent on picking the correct footing. Make sure the ground isn’t slippery or icy. Also, make sure that it’s flat and level ground. You don’t want to put a ladder on a hill or anywhere uneven. And never place a ladder on top of an object to get more height. The base of the ladder should always be on the ground. Read the instruction on leaning ladders to see how far the base should be from the place you’re trying to reach.
Avoid the Top Step
Unless your ladder is specifically rated for use of the top step, never stand on it. Some ladders don’t allow weight on the top three steps. Just read all warning labels. This is because you should always keep one hand on the ladder at all times. If you’re standing on the top step there is nowhere to hold safely. Another ladder safety tip is to always make sure that your ladder is rated for the combined weight of you plus any tools you’re using.
Take Time to Move the Ladder
One final aspect of ladder safety is remembering to reposition is as necessary. Don’t ever attempt to reach something far away from where you’re set up. This is because leaning over can make it easier to lose your balance. It can also cause the weight of the ladder to become uneven and might tip it. Although it takes more time, climb back down the ladder and reposition. After that, climb back up and continue working.
Ladder safety is incredibly important for preventing workplace falls. Remember to prepare ahead of time with proper equipment. Set your ladder up correctly and reposition as needed. Never stand on the top step, and read all warning signs and labels. Always remember to make sure somebody knows when you’ll be up on a ladder, and take your time. Be careful up there!