Safety Tips from OSHA to Avoid Falling from a Ladder
Falls from ladders are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.
In fact, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), close to one-third of construction site deaths result from falls from ladders.
Furthermore, it is the employer's responsibility to train workers and provide a safe work environment for them.
Safety Precautions: Knowing When and When Not to Use a Ladder
Ladders and stepladders are not always the best option for work. Using a ladder is not a good idea when:
- Holding onto heavy items
- Working from the height for a long time
- Elevation for work would make a long ladder unstable
- You have to stand sideways on the ladder to do the job
Under these circumstances, a scissor lift or a platform stepladder (platform with handrail barricades on the side) would be safer than a ladder.
Other Safety Tips to Avoid Falls from Ladders
Here are some other safety guidelines to follow:
- Make sure the ladder is high enough to reach the area. (Do not stand on the top ladder rung.)
- Extend the ladder and secure it three feet above the landing point of the next level for a safe handhold.
- Secure the base of the ladder.
- Wear non-slip, flat boots or shoes.
- Place the ladder on even, stable ground.
- Ensure full extension of the ladder before working.
- Put barriers or cones around the ladder to prevent passersby from walking near or under the ladder.
- Do not carry tools or materials while climbing the ladder.
- Keep your weight centered between side rails and do not lean out from the ladder while working.
- If using a ladder near a doorway, ensure you lock the door.
Whenever falls from ladders cause serious injury, it is wise to consult with an accident attorney to find out about recovering compensation. The State of New York has stringent laws that can protect your rights in a construction accident case.