Ladder Safety

LADDER SAFETY

Annually approximately 50 construction workers are killed due to falling from ladders. More than half of these deaths occur to the people working from the ladder. Twice as many falls occur stepping down compared to going up. The main cause of falls from straight and extensions ladders is sliding of the base of the ladder. On the other hand, for self supported and stepladders, the main cause is tipping sideways.

SETTING UP THE LADDER

Choose the right ladder for the job
Do not paint wooden ladders
Employees using ladders must be trained by a competent person
Keep all types of ladders and tools at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines
Always set ladders on firm level ground
Use ladder levelers on uneven ground 
Always secure the ladder by tying it down or having someone hold the ladder
Keep areas around the top and bottom of ladders clear.
If ladder is to be used in passageways doorways, or where traffic or other activities can occur, secure the ladder or block off the area.
Do not set a ladder on a scaffold, box, or any other object
Do not tie ladders together unless they are made to do so
Extension ladders must overlap by at least 3 feet for ladders up to 32 feet, 4 feet for ladders up to 48 feet, and 5 feet for ladders 48 feet to 60 feet
Unless the ladder has a single support attachment, both rails must rest evenly on the resting spot

USING THE LADDER

Always face the ladder
Wear slip-resistant shoes
Always maintain 3 point contact (one hand, two feet)
Don not work from the top or top step of a stepladder, or from any of the top 3 steps of a straight or extension ladder
Stand in the center of the ladder to avoid tipping
If possible, use personal fall arrest system attached to a secure anchor point on a building when working from a ladder
Do not carry objects in your hands when moving up or down (attach them to a tool belt or pull them up on a line after arriving at the work site)
Never move a ladder when someone is on it 
For extension ladder, never move it until you completely lower the top section
Never leave an unsecured ladder set-up unattended

INSPECTING A LADDER

OSHA says that a competent person must inspect a ladder regularly. Check ladders for damage before each use. If a ladder is damaged, label it, do not use it, and take it away until it is fixed. If it cant be fixed destroy the ladder.

Make sure the feet work and are not broken 
Inspect ladder parts for cracks, bends, splits, and corrosion
Check all rung and steps connections 
Make sure all rung locks and spreader braces are working 
On extension ladders, make sure the rope and pulley work and the rope is not frayed 
All bolts and rivets should be secure
All rung locks and other moveable parts should be oiled or greased
Make sure the steps, rungs, and other ladder parts are free of oil, grease, and other materials


LOW VOLTAGE ELECTROCUTIONS

Construction laborers and their family are at risk every day from low voltage electrocutions on the job and at home.

Each year about 200 construction workers in the United States die from electrocutions on the job in Canada 15, construction workers are electrocuted at work. One in three of these deaths are by low voltage: 110-220 volts.

On the work site, low voltage is used for lights and tools. In the home, low voltage runs lights, stoves, hair dyers, tools, pumps, fans and other appliances.

THE HAZARDS

Low voltage is most dangerous when:

Floors are wet or skin is wet;
Wiring, outlets or plugs are broken; or
Someone has heart problems or other health problems

If your body contacts low voltage, it can change your heart beat. You may die if you do not get emergency medical help with special equipment within 8 minutes.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

AT WORK
Do not work on live circuits.

 

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