Ladder Accidents: Potentially Deadly, Always Preventable
Everyone should take ladder safety seriously. In fact, a company was recently fined after an electrician fell to his death from a stepladder. Why such harsh treatment? The truth is that most falls from height that cause injuries or death involve ladders. This high risk activity must be taken seriously, and precautions put into place. The following tips will help you avoid ladder accidents on your job sites.
Know The Risks And Consequences of Working From a Height
The risks of working at heights is quite high. It’s your responsibility to mitigate those risks. To do so, you must plan any work done at a height carefully, and choose methods and equipment that pose the least amount of danger.
Consider Alternatives to Ladders
In many instances, the best way to avoid ladder accidents is to simply use different equipment. Consider using podium steps, for example. These provide workers with a more stable platform for working, and safer climbing and descending.
You may find that there are some cases where podium steps won’t work. Powered access options don’t need to be assembled and disassembled. They can also be moved out of the way easily when they aren’t in use.
Avoid Common Ladder Mistakes
Sometimes, a ladder is truly the best choice for the job. In that case, avoid making the following mistakes:
Using Ladders in Poor Repair
Old, worn, and damaged ladders are a hazard. That’s why it’s imperative that every ladder is inspected before you use it on a job site. One thing you can do to reduce this risk is to use a ladder for hire. You’ll feel confident knowing that you can choose the right ladder, that your ladder will be in excellent condition, and that you can select the perfect ladder for the job.
Selecting The Wrong Ladder For The Job
Speaking of the perfect ladder, many accidents are caused because job site managers take shortcuts. They often choose the wrong ladder simply because it’s there. There are several types of ladder. Each works well in different circumstances. In addition to this, you should also take factors into consideration such as weight limits.
Placing Ladders Incorrectly
Where you place your ladder is as important as which ladder you use. Consider your worksite as a whole. Who will have access to the ladder? Does the ladder need to be placed near foot traffic or opening doors? What about the ground? Is it a stable, safe surface for a ladder?
Consider blocking access to areas where you are using ladders. Use barricades or signs. If possible, have crew members work in pairs. One person can hold the ladder steady while the other uses it. You can also select ladders with feet for additional stability.
Dangerous Practices With Ladders
Human error is almost always a contributing factor in ladder accidents. Use ladders with care, and take your time. Working in haste can lead to bad decisions and industries. To keep safe you should:
- Never attempt to move a ladder that is occupied.
- Don’t place ladders on stairs or other elevated surfaces (unless you use a combination or adjustable ladder).
- Avoid modifying ladders.
- Don’t reach for items while you are on a ladder. Step down and retrieve the item instead.