One Step at a Time

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.

 Electrical worker using a step ladder.

Electrical worker using a step ladder.

OSHA Standard 1926.1060(a) states that the employer shall provide a training program for each employee using ladders and stairways, as necessary… to recognize hazards related to ladders and stairways...
  • 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.

Weeklysafety.com recommends weekly safety meetings with crews, staff, team members and management on any and all safety topics that are relevant to your company and your industry. Weeklysafety.com has hundreds of safety meeting topics and toolbox talks available through a risk-free subscription at a low monthly price (or even lower annual price). Get 10 free safety topics today, no credit card required.

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