Workers that use extension 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 extension ladders through OSHA’s Fact Sheet: “Reducing Falls in Construction: Safe Use of Extension Ladders.” In this fact sheet, OSHA describes how to plan ahead and highlights the Do’s and Don’ts of using extension ladders.
When planning ahead, it is important to use a ladder that can sustain at least four times the maximum intended load (consider your weight plus the weight of your load). Inspect all ladders for defects like missing rungs, bolts, cleats, screws, and loose components. Keep the area around the top and bottom of the ladder clear of equipment, tools, and slippery materials. Ensure the base and pawls are secure before climbing, set the ladder at the proper angle, and survey the area for hazards like power lines. When using an extension ladder, DO maintain a 3-point contact when climbing. Face the ladder when moving up or down, keep your body inside the rails, carry tools in a belt, and extend the ladder 3 feet above the landing. When using an extension ladder, DON’T place a ladder on an unstable base, tie two ladders together, ignore hazards, move a ladder that is holding a person or equipment, lean beyond the rails, or use an extension ladder horizontally like a platform.
Following these tips 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. For more information on ladder safety and how to prevent fatal falls, Visit: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA3660.pdf
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