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The Do’s and Don’ts of Ladder Safety

By February 27, 2020 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

The American Ladder Institute declared March as National Ladder Safety Month. According to NAHB, year after year falls from ladders and scaffolding are the leading cause of fatal injuries in the homebuilding industry. In fact, the World Health Organization reported that every year more than 160,000 ladder-related injuries are treated at emergency rooms and about 300 deaths caused by falls from ladders.

As we prepare for March and the start of our busy time of year, here are reminders for what you should NOT do with ladders:

  • Leave a raised ladder unattended
  • Position a ladder in front of a door that is not locked or blocked
  • Place a ladder on an unstable surface
  • Skip rungs while going up and down
  • Sit on a rung
  • Use for any other purpose than its intended use
  • Fasten ladders together to create longer sections
  • Use a ladder in windy conditions
  • Use a ladder if you are not physically able
  • Bounce on the rungs
  • Exceed the maximum load rating
  • Use a stepladder that is closed or partially closed
  • Over-reach, lean or make sudden movements
  • Carry anything while going up and down the ladder

And here are some tips on how to use ladders safely:

  • Face the ladder when using it
  • Wear secure-fitting footwear that are not covered in soot or debris
  • Use a fall-arrest system for working at great heights or while performing complicated tasks
  • Use appropriate PPE
  • Keep your body centered between the rails
  • Remember the three-point rule: at any given time on the ladder, you should use two feet and a hand or two hands and a foot to maintain three points of contact

It never hurts to refresh your knowledge of ladder safety. OSHA offers lots of literature on the topic of ladder safety and fall prevention. PBA members keep safety top-of-mind and generally see fewer workers’ compensation claims. As an alternative to traditional workers’ compensation insurance, the PBA Work Comp Program offers rates based on your own loss history. It pays to play it safe.

These tips were originally shared by NACHI.