Today’s topic deals with the job risk of falls and an underestimated fall risk within all industries. In 2012, 279 out of 806 construction related deaths were from falls. No wonder that fall protection is the top cited violation by OSHA. One of the biggest fall areas that OSHA is concentrating on are ladder accidents. While the number of on the job deaths has decreased over the years, ladder accidents have had a 50% increase over the last decade. Here are some simple tips to know and remind yourself and staff:
- Place ladders in correct positions. Ladders should never be placed on uneven ground, near doors that are not locked and guarded, or against non-stable structures.
- Never use a ladder for anything other than what it is intended to do and do not try to alter it in anyway. Most all ladder accidents can be attributed to decisions by made by people to short cut a job or problem.
- Always maintain three points of contact when maneuvering on a ladder.
- Inspect the ladder for any decay or fatigue before each and every use. A number of ladder accidents happen because of using old, worn, and defective ladders.
- Select the right type of ladder for the task or job that you will be working on. Too many accidents happen because of selecting ladders without enough weight capacity for the job or the wrong length for a particular job.
With Spring finally emerging and Summer close at hand, ladders are a great tool to help with many different tasks. Make sure you stress the above points for you and staff that will use ladders during the upcoming months.