Safety Focus of the Week: Ladder Safety (revisited)
Each year there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries in the U.S. relating to ladders (US Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Ladders are used on many jobsites and in the shops. You might be accessing a manhole, providing egress for a trench, or climbing to an elevated work area. No matter what the application, safe ladder practice is an important consideration in setting up your job.
In all cases, the following steps need to be practiced:
- Select the proper ladder for the application (length, metal vs. non-conductive, step vs extension, weight rating, etc.)
- Inspect the ladder daily before each use. Never use a ladder that has been damaged in any way. Make sure the rungs are dry and free of oils, grease, and other slippery material.
- Review the ladder warnings and adhere to recommended usage.
- Evaluate the work surface supporting the ladder. Make sure it is firm, level, stable, and clear of clutter. Make improvements as necessary.
- Set the ladder at the proper angle (extension ladders) and set to the proper height.
- For long-term use, provide additional ladder securement like a fastening system to keep the ladder stable.