One Step at a Time
Although one of the most common tools used on a construction site, in a warehouse, or in a shop, if improperly used, step ladders can lead to serious injuries or even fatal incidents.
A research study found that ladders are involved in 20 percent of fall injuries among all workers, and 81 percent of construction-worker fall injuries.
Any worker or homeowner using a step ladder should always remember to only use the ladder as intended and follow all of the manufacturer's warnings for the specific type of ladder being used.
- If step ladders are being used in your workplace, the following important points should be a part of the safety meeting discussion on ladder safety.
- Always visually inspect all step ladders before use for any defects such as missing or broken rungs, bolts, cleats, screws or any loose components.
- Remove defective ladders from service immediately.
- Never stand on the top rung or step of the step ladder. This makes the ladder very unstable and prone to tip over!
- Never use a step ladder folded against a wall or other area. This can cause the ladder to slip out from under you.
- Never face away from the step ladder while using it. This kind of use will make you more prone to falls.
- Never over-reach on a step ladder.
- Always read the ladder's warning labels and follow the manufacturer's recommendation for use.
- Make certain that the ladder is rated for the correct type of use such as rugged, or industrial, which are the most common for construction/industrial projects.
- Only use a ladder that is rated to support the weight of your body and your tools.
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