Ladder Safety

Posted by Melissa Hall in #YHSafetyTips, Mar 13, 2019

Did you know every year over 100 people die and 700 people are injured every day in a ladder related accident? Ladder violations were also sixth on the list of OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations in 2018. According to Liberty Mutual, over $17.1 billion was spent on workplace falls in 2017.

OSHA standard 1926.1053 outlines requirements for all ladders, including job-made ladders, and includes regulations for portable and fixed ladders; ladder rungs, cleats and steps; ladder components; cages; and ladder safety devices.

The American Ladder Institute (ALI) has declared the month of March “National Ladder Safety Month” to bring awareness to the importance of ladder safety.

Goals of National Ladder Safety Month include:

  • Decreasing the number of ladder-related injuries and deaths
  • Increasing the number of in-person ladder trainings
  • Increasing the number of companies that inspect and properly dispose of old or damaged ladders
  • Lower the ranking of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s annual “Top 10 Citations List”
  • Increasing the number of ladder safety training certificates issued by ALI

Ladder Safety Facts

  • Most ladder falls happen between 6 and 10 feet off the ground
  • Overreaching and missing the last step when climbing down are the most common ladder accidents

Proper Use of Ladders at Work

  • Take account of the duty rating of your ladder before starting your work
  • Duty rating is the total amount of weight ladder will support
  • Calculate by: Your weight + the weight of your clothing & PPE + weight of tools & supplies that you will be using when on the ladder
  • Ladders should be placed on a firm base or solid surface and should avoid slippery, wet or soft surfaces
  • Never lean a straight or extension ladder against a window or other unstable surface
  • A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it's resting on for every 4 feet of the ladder's height
  • Securely fasten straight or extension ladders to an upper support
  • Make sure step ladders are open completely before climbing
  • Never use an extension ladder in windy or inclement weather
  • If weather becomes bad when you’re working on a ladder, climb down and wait until weather passes to resume work
  • Clean ladder after each use to prevent dirt buildup

Safety When Climbing Ladders

  • Face the ladder and always grip the rungs, not the side rails
  • Always keep three points of contact with the ladder: two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand
  • Never get off a ladder from the side
  • Make sure extension ladders extend 3 feet above the roof or platform you're trying to reach
  • Do not stand higher than the third rung from the top
  • Don't lean or overreach - reposition the ladder instead
  • Don't climb while carrying tools - use a tool belt
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes
  • Only one person should be on a ladder at a time

Before working, you need to inspect your ladder including:

  • Locks and pulleys
  • Safety shoes
  • Rungs
  • Rails
  • Connections and fasteners
  • Ropes

If you find your ladder is not safe for use, it needs to be destroyed. If it is found and picked up by someone else for use, you could be held liable if any injuries occur. To properly dispose of the ladder, cut the ladder in half by cutting directly down the center of the rungs from top to bottom.

Need to update your ladders? YorkHoist offers ladders at competitive prices. Contact us today for a quote.

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