FALLING OFF LADDERS CAN KILL – USE THEM SAFELY
Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and every year, falls from ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. These deaths are preventable and lives can be saved by following safe work practices.
When Should You Use a Ladder?
When you want to reach a higher work area, think about the best equipment to use. While a ladder or stepladder is commonly used, it may not always be the best option. Ask yourself these questions before deciding on a ladder.
- Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder?
- Is the elevated area high enough that it would require a long ladder that can be unstable?
- Will I be working from this height for a long time?
- Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to do this work?
If your answer is yes to one of the above questions, consider using something other than a ladder. If possible, bring in other equipment like a scissor lift. If you have to use a ladder, use one that has a working platform with hand rail barricades on the sides and use it safely.
Ladder Safety Tips and Policies
- Inspect the ladder for any damage before use. Tag ladder out of service if its damaged.
- 100% tie off at or above 6 feet.
- Use the right ladder for the job. For example, is the ladder high enough to reach work area without having to stand on top rungs.
- Place the ladder on stable and level ground.
- Ensure the ladder is fully extended before starting work.
- Always follow and abide by PLS and the Manufacturers policies.
- Maintain three points of contact on the ladder at all times.
- Do not carry any tools or materials in your hands when climbing a ladder.
- Do not lean away from the ladder to carry out your task. Always keep your weight centered between the side rails.
- Do not use ladders near doorways. If you need to use a ladder near a doorway, make sure that the door is locked.
OSHA’s message to the construction industry is simple: SAFETY PAYS AND FALLS COST.