Annually, more than 300 people lose their lives in ladder-related accidents, and thousands receive disabling injuries. Secondary to the physical impacts, businesses spend approximately $4.6 billion in direct compensation and medical bills associated with falls from elevation annually. Proactively reviewing ladder safety with your employees can help prevent potential injuries and losses.
Knowing how your workers use ladders and how past injuries have occurred go a long way toward preventing incidents. Some of the most frequent errors stem from improper ladder handling, using the wrong size or type of ladder for the work, and overreaching or stepping improperly. Often accidents result from quick-fix solutions like grabbing the closest, most convenient ladder instead of the proper one for the task, or trying to reach something by stretching instead of repositioning the ladder to gain proper access.
A worker’s physical condition is also an important consideration. Never climb a ladder if you are feeling dizzy, faint, or off balance. Some medications can cause dizziness, so it is important to know how your medications affect you prior to working from heights. If you feel overly tired or unwell while on a ladder, come down and rest. When possible, be certain to have a coworker nearby, should you require assistance.
Unsure of which ladder to use or how to properly inspect a ladder? Check out our ladder safety toolbox talk, and feel free to use it to help educate your staff on this important topic. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also has a free Ladder Safety App workers can download to their smart phones. The app includes an angle measuring tool and various ladder safety tools including an inspection checklist and selection criteria.
RETTEW offers fall protection and scaffolding competent person training. We also have fall protection experts who can evaluate your current equipment and setup. Contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 800.738.8395 to schedule a consultation.
Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.