10 Ladder Safety Tips for Work and Home
The US ranks third in population but according to the World Health Organization, the US 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. In honor of ladder safety awareness month, we offer a few ladder safety tips for work and home.
10 Ladder Safety Tips
#1 Choose the right ladder. Think about the required height, the ladder style and material, and the surface on which the ladder will stand.
#2 Observe the highest standing level. This is the uppermost rung or step the climber is advised to use while the ladder is in the most preferred climbing position
#3 Follow the 4-1 Rule. For every four feet, you are going to climb, you should move the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall or supporting structure.
#4 Understand working load. Maximum applied load including the weight of the user, materials, and tool which the ladder is meant to support during use.
#5 Understand the duty rating. Also related to working load, the duty rating is defined as the maximum safe load capacity of the ladder.
#6 Inspect the ladder. Check the locks, hooks, ropes, and shoes. Depending on the style of ladder, double-check any safety features before use.
#7 Consider what tools and accessories are needed. Once you climb the ladder, what kind of work needs to be done? What needs to be hauled up and what debris may need to be hauled down? This will factor into your working load.
#8 Review the OSHA safety labels. OSHA has standards covering general requirements for all types of ladders including those meant for household use.
#9 Assess the surroundings and surface. Before you place your ladder, look for a stable, level surface and avoid areas with power lines, equipment, trees, etc.
#10 Three points of contact. Keep three limbs on the ladder at all times. Carry your tools on a tool belt or hoist tools to the work location using a bucket or bag that’s secured to a rope.
Additional ladder safety tips:
- Wear appropriate PPE.
- Always face the ladder as you climb.
- Keep your body centered.
- Never leave the ladder unattended.
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