Workers that use Job-made Wooden Ladders are at risk of permanent injury from falls and hazards that can be eliminated by following good safety practices. Companies are encouraged to continue supporting National Ladder Safety Month by learning about the dangers and proper use of Job-made Wooden Ladders through OSHA’s Fact Sheet: “Reducing Falls in Construction: Safe Use of Job-made Wooden Ladders.”
A Job-made Wooden Ladder is a type of ladder that is constructed at the construction site and provides access to and from a work area. It is temporary and not commercially manufactured, so extra care needs to be taken to properly construct, inspect, and use these ladders. OSHA describes the safe construction of a Job-made Wooden Ladder by highlighting the correct formation of the ladder’s side rails, cleats, and filler blocks. It is important that construction-grade lumber is utilized for each of these components. Detailed measurements and material specifications for creating a Job-made Wooden Ladder can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA3661.pdf.
After constructing a Job-made Wooden Ladder, it is imperative that a trained individual visually inspects the ladder for defects on a periodic basis. When using the ladder, the same safe-principles for ladder use generated by OSHA should be applied to a Job-made Wooden Ladder. Workers should secure the ladder’s base and maintain 3 points of contact during use. Additionally, the wooden surface of the ladder should be smoothed to prevent the snagging of clothing and reduce puncture injuries. Following these tips in OSHA’s fact sheet will increase ladder safety and prevent falls and subsequent injuries. Ultimately, it is an employer's duty to train each worker to recognize and minimize their ladder-related hazards.
DII is your partner in workplace safety. Our team of safety experts can work with you to understand the steps you should take to improve your workplace safety and implement proper ladder usage. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #NationalLadderSafetyMonth #taketherightsteps