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4 guidelines to improve ladder safety at work

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Many job duties require workers to use ladders. One of the leading causes of fatalities in the workplace is falling from a ladder. This makes ladder safety a top priority for all employers who expect workers to use them. The safety plan must be clear and easy to understand. Employees must receive the program when they start with the company, and they must revisit it periodically during employment.

Supervisors should check on employees who use ladders to verify that they are using safe practices. They must address safety issues immediately to minimize the chance of a worker suffering from a fall.

Perform an inspection

A ladder inspection is necessary before each use. A single check per shift is usually suitable if workers use it regularly. Ladders must be in good repair. There can’t be any worn or broken components. Workers must not use the equipment if there are any problems with it.

Learn the ladder limitations

Every ladder has specific limitations. An informational panel on it will list these. It should have the weight limitations and the maximum heights you can reach with it. Other limits, such as what rung you shouldn’t climb past, are also on the ladder. Following these is imperative since it might fail if you don’t comply with them.

Ensure proper placement

Ladders have to be stable before anyone climbs them. Only place them on a firm foundation. If the ground is soggy, consider placing a stabilizing board beneath the feet. You should also be aware of where you are putting the upper portion of the ladder. You never want to have it close to overhead electrical lines. The contact point at the top should also be secure.

Three-point requirement

Any trip up or down the ladder requires you to have three points of contact at all times. This can be two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot. At no time can you have fewer than three points of contact. This limits the possibility of carrying items on the ladder, but things like tool belts and hoists enable you to get the supplies you need to your workstation and back to the ground again.

Workers who fall from ladders may need medical care. Workers’ compensation coverage helps them pay for these needs and can also provide other benefits, depending on the person’s condition and needs.