Ladder Safety

What is a ladder?

A ladder, in the context of this meeting, is a portable device used to access elevated work areas. Types include step, straight, combination and extension. According to OSHA, falls from portable ladders are one of the leading causes of occupational “fatalities” and injuries.

What hazards are associated with ladder use?

1. Contact with hazardous energy from power lines or power sources
2. Falls by slipping on ladder rungs
3. Falls when extension ladder slides or falls from top contact point
4. Falls when ladder itself fails or breaks
5. Falls from misusing ladder

What can you do to protect yourself from injuries related to ladder use?

1. Visually inspect every ladder you use prior to use
2. Inspect the work area for electrical hazards prior to placing the ladder
3. Use fiberglass ladders for electrical work or when hazardous energy sources are present
4. Ensure step ladders are fully extended and locked into place prior to use
5. Ensure extension ladders extend at least 3’ above the landing area contact point
6. Read and follow all labels and markings on the ladder prior to use
7. Maintain 3 points of contact while climbing the ladder
8. Never stand on the top rung of a step ladder unless it was designed for that purpose
9. Never stand on the top 3 rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder
10. Ensure that ladder bases are always secure and safe enough to support the ladder weight + additional weight of the user and his or her tools / equipment
11. Never position ladders on top of unstable bases to achieve additional height
12. Ensure that all locks on extension ladders are in place before use
13. Never exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder
14. Report, tag or discard defective ladders

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