The most common causes of ladder accidents are:
- Overreaching from the ladder
- Failing to properly secure the ladder
- Climbing a ladder while holding an object
- Standing on the top rung of the ladder and losing your balance
- Leaving tools or objects on the top rung of a step ladder and the items falling and striking people below
- Not following the recommendations and requirements developed by the ladder manufacturers
The World Health Organization states the following:
The United States leads the world in ladder deaths. Each year, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. that are caused by falls from ladders. How do we prevent these accidents? By doing the following:
- Only use a ladder for what the manufacturer intended it to be used for
- Never exceed the weight rating of the ladder
- Keep your body centered on the ladder and never try to “reach” to gain a better position
- Use three points of contact when climbing or descending a ladder
- Follow all the manufacturer’s guidelines when using the ladder
- Inspect the ladder before each use, replace the ladder if you find defects
- Select the proper ladder based on the task you intend t perform. Example: if you are working around electricity ensure that the ladder is rated for that type of application.
- Use the 4 to 1 rule and extend the ladder 3’ beyond the roof edge (for extension ladders)
Following these guidelines will go a long way in reducing/eliminating ladder accidents.
Call A-C-T to schedule a ladder safety course today! We offer dozens of OSHA related safety training courses. Classes are taught by industry professionals with many years experience.