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Safety in the use of ladders at home or at work

Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-10-07      Origin: Site


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Whether at work or at home, the proper selection, use and maintenance of ladders is critical to your safety. Each year, ladder-related accidents cause more than 500,000 injuries and approximately 300 deaths. In the workplace, these injuries cost U.S. employers $11 billion annually. in lost work time, medical expenses, legal and liability costs, and pain and suffering.

How can ladder-related falls be prevented? The first step is to understand what causes these incidents.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the top 5 causes of ladder falls at home and in the workplace are

Incorrect angle of extension ladder setup

Improper ladder selection

Inadequate ladder inspection

Improper use of ladders

Ladder safety tools and information not available

Extension ladder set at incorrect angle

If not set at the proper angle, the ladder may slip out of the base, resulting in falls and injuries. You should place the base one-quarter of the ladder's working length from a wall or vertical surface. In addition, a straight or extension ladder should extend at least 3 feet above the support point when accessing an elevated surface.


Improper ladder selection

Choosing the right ladder for the task is important. Consider the type of ladder, load, material and height.

There are 3 main types of ladders.

Type 1: Industrial. These are heavy-duty ladders with a load capacity of up to 250 pounds.

Type 2: Commercial. These are medium-sized ladders with a load capacity of up to 225 lbs. and are typically used for painting and related tasks.

Type 3: Home. These are light ladders with a load capacity of up to 200 pounds.

You should calculate the load by taking into account the weight of your clothes plus the weight of any tools and materials you carry.

You also need to consider the material when choosing a ladder. While aluminum ladders are the most durable, as conductors, they are not suitable for use around electricity. Wood is a non-conductor, but may rot if exposed to moisture. If you're looking for durability and non-conductivity, fiberglass is the best choice; but it's also the most expensive.

Next, consider height. On an extension ladder, your range of motion will be about 1 inch lower than the length of the ladder. On a ladder, expect about 4 feet above the ladder height.

Inadequate Ladder Inspections

Performing regular inspections and maintenance can help prevent falls. Consider the following tips.

Periodically check the ladder for broken joints and latches.

Check for cracks, broken welds and rough spots on aluminum ladders.

Look for broken wood, splinters and rotted or broken hardware in wooden ladders. Never paint a wooden ladder, as this can hide cracks, rot or other defects.

Fiberglass ladders are coated with a clear sealant. If you find any damage, report it and do not use it.

Improper use of ladders

Are you using the ladder correctly? Are you avoiding dangerous mistakes? Many ladder-related injuries can be avoided by proper use.

Set up the ladder according to the accompanying safety instructions and warnings.

Wear shoes with non-slip soles.

Before you start climbing, align your body with the ladder, buckle your belt between the rails, and hold the rails firmly with both hands.

Face the ladder while climbing and move one step at a time. Secure one foot before moving the other.

If you are using a heavy ladder, have someone else hold it while you climb or stand on it.

Whenever possible, use ropes to haul materials rather than lifting them up an extension ladder. If you need to carry something, take extra care to avoid losing your balance or tipping the ladder.

Never use a ladder when you feel dizzy, tired, or unable to safely complete the task.

Always open the ladder completely before climbing and use the front of the ladder. The top of the ladder is not a seat.

Place the bottom of an extension ladder at a safe distance from a building or wall.

Never go beyond the penultimate rung on a live ladder or the fourth rung from the top on an extension ladder.

Only one person should use a single-sided live ladder or extension ladder at a time.

Always move the ladder to continue the task rather than leaning over you. Dismount before adjusting the position of the ladder.


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