Every year over 300 people die in ladder-related accidents and thousands suffer disabling injuries which is why every step matters! From step stools to extension ladders, make sure you are putting the right foot forward.
Ladder accidents are preventable and the goal of National Ladder Safety Month is to raise awareness of ladder safety and decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.
Ladder Safety Tips:
- Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
- Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
- Always inspect ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from serviced and tagged until repaired or discarded.
- Always maintain a 3-point (two feet and a hand) contact on a ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder when climbing.
- Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levels, jacks or hooks) for their designated purposes.
- Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
- Do not use a self-supporting ladder (step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
- Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
- Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
- Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
- Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
- An extension of straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support. Do not stand on rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
- The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface.
- A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
- Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
- Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it’s supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.