If you have a ladder at your business, your employees need to know the ins and outs of ladder safety. It does not matter whether ladders are only used to replace lightbulbs and perform routine maintenance, or your workers use ladders in their day-to-day activities – ladder safety is critical. Anytime an employee is on a ladder, there is a risk of injury if they are not following safety protocols. March is National Ladder Safety Month, making it a good time to review some key ladder safety tips to share with your team to reduce workplace injuries.
Three Points of Contact
Many falls from ladders happen due to a loss of balance. Reaching away from the ladder with both hands or standing on only one foot can throw off balance and increase the risks of falls. It is important to keep three points of contact on the ladder at all times, especially when ascending and descending. Two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot should always be touching the ladder.
Careful Ladder Placement
When setting up a ladder, it should be placed in an area that has been cleared of objects with a level, dry surface. It is also important to ensure the ladder is not in a pathway of foot traffic or vehicles. If a ladder is needed by a doorway or regularly used pathway, a barricade should be used to keep others away during use. Doors should be locked to avoid opening into ladders on the other side.
Wear Appropriate Gear
Employees using ladders should be using the right safety gear to help prevent accidents. Non-slip footwear is important to avoid slips on rungs when climbing or descending. To keep hands free, workers should wear a tool belt to carry items up and down the ladder.
Check Steps for Safety
Each step or rung on the ladder should be checked for safety. All rungs should be dry and free of any oily or slippery substances. All steps need to be stable – ladders with loose or damaged rungs should be labeled as unusable until they are repaired or replaced.
Basic Ladder Safety
It may seem like common sense, but it is important to remind employees of basic safety rules when it comes to using ladders. Some basic safety tips include:
- Employees should never be on a ladder if they are feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
- If using a ladder outside, never climb a ladder in rain or wind.
- Make sure all workers know that the top rung or step of a ladder is never to be used as a step.
- Never rush when descending or ascending a ladder and always be facing the ladder.
Following the basic safety rules can prevent serious injuries, yet according to OSHA, ladder safety violations are amongst the most common in the workplace. Reviewing ladder safety with your team for National Ladder Safety Month can help prevent unnecessary injuries and even deaths – over 100 people die each year in ladder-related accidents.
At SafetyPro Resources, we offer training and safety guidelines to help you reduce your workplace injuries to protect your valuable employees and your bottom line. To learn more about our safety training and management services, contact us at our office in Baton Rouge.