Ladder Safety 101

Do your employees use ladders on an everyday basis? For many trade professions, such as electricians, roofers and builders, using a ladder is the norm. If this is the case, it is important that you go over ladder safety tips with your employees at least once a year. This can be done through formal training for new employees or refresher seminars for current employees.

According to OSHA, ladders are a major source of injuries and fatalities. It is estimated that there are nearly 24,882 injuries a year due to falls from stairways and ladders, including around 36 fatalities. In light of these statistics, OSHA has put together a list of ladder safety tips. You should pass these tips along to your workers:

• Always read and follow instructions and labels on the ladder.

• Inspect a ladder for damages before using it.

• Three-point contact should be maintained while using a ladder (two hands, one foot or two feet, one hand.)

• Extension ladder locks should always be double-checked before climbing.

• Never use a ladder on a slippery surface (wet surface, rug, etc.)

• Ladders should be used on stable and flat surfaces.

• NEVER move or shift a ladder while another worker is using it.

• Never use a metal ladder near exposed energized electrical equipment, such as power lines.

• The angle of the ladder makes a difference when setting up. It is important to place its base ¼ of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface.

• Never place a ladder on a box or object to add height.

Keeping your workers safe on the job should always be your number one concern and priority. If not, you may find that your employees are filing for workers compensation much more often than not. The more claims made, the higher your premium will be.

The bottom line: keep employees educated and safe in order to keep workers comp claims and costs to a minimum! For more information on workers comp and on the job safety, contact our agency.