Whether you are at the worksite or at home doing renovations, safety should always be a priority. Falls, from ladders, can be life altering & even fatal. Prevent falls & injuries by trying these ladder safety tips:
1) Inspect your ladder for missing & broken parts, cracks & bends. Ensure that it has good non-slip feet. If it isn’t safe & in good condition, don’t use it. Don’t use plywood to fix wooden ladders.
2) If you are buying a new ladder, ask the sales person for help. Ladders are designed for different purposes, weight loads etc. Buy a ladder that is right for you. Never use extension ladders for work platforms.
3) Ensure that your path is clear & that there is nothing to trip on before you move your ladder. If your ladder is heavy or long, get help to move it. If carrying a small ladder by yourself, balance it with the feet pointing in the direction that you are going.
4) Ensure your step ladder is fully open & the sides are locked into place before using. If using a straight ladder, have someone hold the base/bottom. Straight & extension ladders should be 1 foot out for every 4 feet up. Extension ladders should extend about 3 feet above the top. If possible, tie the top into place to keep it secure.
5) Place on level ground, away from debris. Ensure the ladder is stable before using.
6) Wear shoes with a good grip & tie laces securely. Ensure shoes and steps are free from mud & oil/slippery substances. Center your feet on each step. Avoid standing on your toes or the balls of your feet.
7) Face the ladder when climbing up or down.
8) When climbing up or down, maintain three points of contact (for example 2 feet & 1 hand). Don’t try to juggle & carry things while on the ladder.
9) Your step ladder should rise above your work. Never stand on or above the top two rungs or on the very top of the ladder. If you need to reach higher, get a taller ladder.
10) If you can’t safely reach an area from your ladder, then get off & move your ladder closer. Don’t take chances by leaning & stretching. Only your arm should extend past any side.
When using ladders and other equipment at the workplace, ask questions and take responsibility for your safety. Workplaces have specific safety requirements, practices, gear etc. Follow the rules that are designed to keep you safe.
While ladder safety is no laughing matter, I leave you with this funny short video clip to end on a positive note: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nkkUZ6e3jM.
Invite Go-Getters Inc to give a presentation at your next lunch & learn or safety meeting. We’ll bring a fresh approach & valuable information to prevent injuries. Contact us today!
Thanks to readers for their comments about this article. The following comment has been added below as it is another ladder safety tip:
Ladders are necessary to accomplish some electrical jobs. Never use an aluminum ladder on any electrical project. Always use an insulated fiberglass ladder to keep you safe.