With an average of 13 people dying on the job every single day in the United States, workplace safety still is the most important factor of doing business in this country. With the construction industry leading the way with more than 20 percent of those fatalities being attributed to it, workplace falls remain the highest instance of avoidable deaths on the work site. Most of these falls were from ladders. Whether they were improperly placed, or because of user error, falls from ladders attributed to an astounding 359 deaths during 2014.
In an effort to educate our valued customers on workplace safety we offer the following Do's and Don'ts regarding safe ladder usage.
- Do - follow all manufacturer instructions and warnings regarding use, load and proper placement.
- Do - wear the proper footwear. Non-slip, non-heeled shoes work best.
- Do - center your body in the middle of the ladder. Keeping the center of your belt buckle or the fastener of your pants as a guideline for proper placement.
- Do - use a rope line alongside your ladder for hauling objects up rather than trying to carry them.
- Do - face the ladder whenever you climb or descend it.
- Do - have someone "spot" you while climbing unusually tall ladders. Always get help with carrying bigger ladders.
- Do - placed the base of your ladder far enough from the building to ensure its stability.
- Don't - exceed the maximum load capacity or duty rating set by the manufacturer.
- Don't - ever allow more than one person to use the ladder at one time.
- Don't - climb any ladder that you are physically unable to do so correctly.
- Don't - attempt to climb a closed stepladder.
- Don't - try to climb the back of a stepladder.
- Don't - use the top two rungs of a stepladder or the top four rungs of an extension ladder.
- Don't - ever stand on the top shelf of any ladder.
- Don't - use a ladder that is missing parts or is broken.
- Don't - use a ladder that is placed too close to a building.
- Don't - lean too far one way or the other, risking you losing your balance. Don't overextend your normal reach.
Ignoring these basic safety guidelines is what causes workplace falls, both fatal and non-fatal. Whenever your job tasks require you to use a ladder make sure to use common sense to ensure your personal safety.