Safety Focus: Elevated Work Safety

Safety Focus: Elevated Work Safety

Ladders and scaffolding are important resources in many occupations. They’re also frequent visitors on OSHA’s top ten most-cited violations list, with scaffolding at number 3 in 2014 and ladders coming in at number 7.*

SEE ALSO: *OSHA's Top 10: The more things change Safety and Health Magazine

Whenever elevated work is part of a jobsite’s activities, safety must be kept top of mind at all times. And we’re not just talking multi-story falls; many workers underestimate how dangerous a short fall can be. In general industry, work levels at a height of 4 feet or more require fall protection.

Typical fall locations include flatbed trucks, scissor lifts, crane bridges, and ladders. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using these types of equipment.



Stay within the boundaries of the lift’s guardrails.All aerial lifts have a load capacity rating that indicates the amount of weight the lift can safely carry.Before work begins, you must know the rating of the lift and make sure that the combined weight of all personnel, tools, equipment, and materials carried on the lift does not exceed this rating.While extending the lift, always make sure that you stay within the vertical and horizontal reach limits established by the manufacturer.If at any time the equipment appears to be malfunctioning, stop work immediately and report the problem to your supervisor



Ladders are useful to gain access to a location, and for minor or routine tasks. For jobs that take an extended period of time to complete, however, a work platform such as a scaffold or scissor lift is more comfortable and much safer.

When a ladder is the right tool for the job:

We invite you to repost this blog in your employee newsletter, on your break room bulletin boards, or share it in your next safety meeting.

For elevated work safety training, Summit offers a number of courses, including:

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