People who work at a construction site often overlook ladder safety. Perhaps, it is because a ladder is such a common piece of equipment. However, a fall from a ladder can result in permanent disabilities, and may even lead to death. In fact, numerous people get injured every due to not following proper ladder safety.
If you are an employer, you must educate your workers about proper ladder safety in order to reduce mishaps and save lives.
Ladder Safety in Construction
Here are some ladder safety tips based on OSHA’s Construction Industry Standard for Ladders that you can follow to create a safe work environment –
1. Educate yourself on ladder safety
You should be well versed in proper ladder safety protocols if your job requires you to frequently climb ladders. It is even better to get trained by an experienced individual who can ensure you understand everything correctly.
Proper training will help you to detect faulty or damaged ladders, understand how to handle ladders with care, place a proper fall protection system in place, and follow the best practices of ladder safety.
Thus, once you go through proper ladder safety training, you will know what you should do in order to increase ladder safety and what you should avoid doing in order to avoid disasters.
2. Select the right ladder
Not every ladder is created equal. They can vary in their height, utility, and can be made from a completely different material. Thus, different types of ladders are suited for different purposes. In case if you look for a ladder for home use, then you can consider buying a good quality telescoping ladder which is suitable for occasional use.
For eg – It is safer to use a ladder made of fibreglass instead of steel if you are working in an environment that is prone to electrical hazards.
Some things you need to consider before choosing a ladder are as follows –
- Is the height of the ladder perfect?
- Do you need to use the ladder indoor or outdoor?
- Do you need to carry any heavy materials while climbing?
- Are there any visible defects on the ladder like cracks, unsecured rivets or bolts, and corrosion?
- Can the ladder be set up, and secured properly?
- What kind of environment will you
If you find any defects when inspecting a ladder, make sure to label it ‘Unsafe for use’ and report it to the appropriate authority.
3. Place the ladder on solid ground
A ladder should always be placed on stable, solid ground in order to ensure safety. If it is unavoidable to place it on a soft, slippery or wet surface, place a board under the ladder or consider an alternative.
Make sure the ladder’s feet are completely extended before climbing and fasten it to upper support.
If you need to place your ladder near a door, be sure to lock it properly or appoint someone to guard the doorway.
4. Climb the ladder with care
Climbing a ladder carelessly can make it unstable and make you fall. Thus, you should always be mindful when climbing in order to avoid any injuries. Always be sure to maintain 3 points of contact on the ladder with your hands and feet when climbing.
Avoid standing on the top rung of the ladder. At most, you should stand on the third rung from the top. Extended your extension ladders at least 3 feet above the platform or roof that you are trying to reach.
Also, be sure to wear anti-slip footwear, and use a tool belt for carrying tools.