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Ladder Safety Tips
May 3, 2012
May 3, 2012
A lot of people use ladders on a daily basis, many times in an unsafe way. Most of us don’t think twice about pulling a ladder out and stepping onto it, without doing any type of functional check. There are several things that should be checked before getting onto a ladder.
For starters, always check to make sure your ladder is in good condition. Are the rungs secure and free from debris? Are the feet sturdy and placed on a flat, sturdy surface? Are the side rails in good condition and not splitting or cracking? A ladder in poor condition greatly increases your chances of injury.
Keep in mind a few pointers for keeping yourself safe while on a ladder:
· Always maintain three points of contact while on a ladder.
· Never stand on the top rung of a ladder.
· Always face the ladder when climbing up or down.
· Leaning ladders should always extend at least three feet above the top platform.
· Never allow more than one person at a time on a ladder.
· Make sure the weight your ladder is supporting does not exceed its maximum load rating (user plus materials).
· All metal ladders should have slip-resistant feet.
· Be sure all locks on extension ladders are properly engaged.
· Keep your body centered between the rails of the ladder at all times. Do not lean too far to the side while working.
If you think ladder safety is something you shouldn’t be concerned about, think again. One wrong step could mean serious injury or even death.
In a Bureau of Labor Statistics study of 1,400 ladder accidents that resulted in injuries the following findings were made:
66% of those injured had not been trained in how to inspect ladders for defects before using them;
61% had not been secured at the top
53% of the non-self-supporting ladders had not been secured or braced at the bottom;
53% of the ladders involved in the accidents broke during use
42% of those injured were working on the ladder when the accident occurred;
39% of the ladders involved in the accidents had not been extended three feet above the landing level;
23% percent of the accidents were in construction;
19% percent of the ladders involved in the accidents had one or more defects and
4% percent of the ladders involved in the accidents did not have uniformly spaced steps