Safety Alert Fall Protection – 10 Ways to stay safe on ladders

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Falls from an elevation can cause serious injuries to employees.  Workers injured as a result of a ladder fall can find themselves facing permanent injury or even death.  In the 10 years spanning 2003 to 2012, 46 workers have died falling from a ladder (Safe Work Australia).  These falls can be caused by many factors including improper setup/use, defective ladders, and wrong ladder type.  Many of these injuries can be prevented with some advance preparation.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

  • Are ladders routinely utilized by your place of business?
  • Do you routinely inspect your ladders?
  • Is there a chance that an employee could fall from a ladder?

What action can you do to prepare to keep employees safe from falls on ladders

  • Keep your ladder clean and free of build-up or debris.
  • Inspect the ladder for damaged rungs.
  • Use the ladder for its’ intended purpose. Follow the labels/markings.
  • Avoid electrical hazards.
  • Always maintain 3 points of contact (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand).
  • Do not place ladders on unstable bases (i.e. boxes, barrels or other unstable bases).
  • Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
  • Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder.  Include tools and equipment in the total weight.
  • Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are fully engaged.
  • Only use a ladder on a stable and level surface.

 

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