#YHSafetyTips - Ladders

Posted by Ashley Bechtel in #YHSafetyTips, Nov 16, 2016

When using a ladder in the workplace, safety should be top priority. Not everyone thinks about making sure that their ladder is safe for use, but 43% of fatal falls in the last decade were from ladders. You need to inspect your ladders before every use, and follow OSHA’s standards.

Before using a ladder:

  • Inspect it to confirm that it is in good working condition. Ladders with loose or missing parts must be rejected. Ladders that sway or lean to the side must also be rejected
  • Make sure you are using the correct ladder for the job at hand
  • Place the ladder on firm level ground without any type of slippery condition present
  • Do no place the ladder in front of a doorway (without propping open or locking the door first)

While using a ladder:

  • If you feel tired or dizzy, come down from the ladder immediately
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes. Shoes with leather soles are not acceptable.
  • Only one person at a time is permitted on the ladder unless it is specifically designed for more than one person
  • Wear a tool belt or use towlines to carry materials or tools that are needed so that the climbers hands are free
  • Avoid sudden movements, climb slowly and deliberately
  • Never attempt to move the ladder while it is in use
  • Do not over reach or lean while on the ladder. The center of your belt buckle should stay between the ladder side rails

Three Points-of-Contact Rule

At all times during ascent and descent, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps, rungs, and/or side rails. This helps the climber to maintain their balance in the event of a slip.

To view more information on what OSHA requires for the safe use of ladders, click here. To view OSHA’s quick card of information on ladder safety, click here.

Check back next week when we discuss how to stay safe when using a fork lift.

If you missed last weeks post on the safe use and proper storage of slings, check it out here.

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