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For as commonplace ladders are, especially on the job site, they can quite dangerous if not used properly. The possibility of falling, especially on the job site, can leave any worker feeling uneasy before beginning to climb. Therefore, in order to maintain the safety of yourself and your fellow workers, it is important that ladder safety is continually practiced.

OSHA’s Ladder Safety Tips

OSHA has crafted its own list of ladder safety tips that all workers and employers should become familiar with. While some of the items on this list may seem like common sense, it is important that you review each one and ensure you practice them.

  • Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
    • These labels will have safety information on them, as well as other important information
  • Avoid electrical hazards.
    • Before ascending the ladder, ensure that the overhead is clear when any powerlines. Furthermore, is electrical work does need to be done, avoid using a metal ladder.
  • Inspect the ladder.
    • Before using the ladder, ensure that it is free of any structural damage. If any damages are discovered, a structurally sound ladder must be used.
  • Always face the ladder when climbing and maintain a 3-point contact with the ladder (two hands one foot / two feet and one hand).
  • Ensure the ladder is free of any slick substances on the rungs, steps, or feet.
    • Doing so will help prevent slippage and injury.
  • Do not use the top rung/step unless the ladder was designed to be used that way.
  • Only place the ladder on a stable, flat surface.
    • This will help prevent the ladder from collapsing. Furthermore, do not place the ladder on any object in order to climb higher. This is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.
  • Do not shift the ladder while it is in use.
    • Doing so can cause serious harm.
  • If an extension/straight ladder is being used, it must extend at least three (3) feet above its point of support.
  • If the ladder is being used in a location where it can be displaced or collapse, it must be secured to the ground or a barricade must be used to direct traffic out of the path of the ladder.
    • If possible, both options should be used to ensure maximum stability and safety.
  • If an extensions ladder is being used, ensure that all locks for the extension are 100% functional.
    • Failure to do so can lead to ladder failure, possibly resulting in serious injury.
  • Adhere to the ladder’s max load rating.

Using a ladder can be dangerous, but if you follow these OSHA certified tips, you greatly decrease your chances of being injured while using one. We greatly urge employers to review ladder safety tips with their workers and reprimand those who do not follow the safety rules. It is important that every one individual on the job site is as safe as they can be and following these simple rules will help ensure that.

If you have any questions or are concerned about the safety of your construction site, consider calling Foy Safety. Our team of professionals will ensure that, whether you are a concerned employee or forward-thinking employer, your job site meets all safety codes and standards, while maintaining your budget. At Foy Safety, your team’s safety is our first priority.