Ladder Safety Regulations the Construction Industry Should Adhere To
Construction work often involves a number of risky activities. That said, construction workers are required to adhere to certain safety precautions and procedures to ensure their safety. One safety precaution that the Occupational Safety & Health Administration strictly focuses on is the fall precaution and safety.
According to Kendall Jones, Editor in Chief of Constructconnect.com, 4 out of 10 of the deaths by construction workers are caused by falls. He continues to state that 25% of those deaths are caused by falls from ladders.
According to recent reports, the above-stated statistic is only increasing over time. This then reflects how seriously the construction industry adheres to the safety precautions outlined by OSHA. The World Health Organization stated in their report that there are over 160,000 emergency rooms injuries related to ladder falls. Please note that the above-mentioned statistics are related to the United States.
That said, it's crucial that construction workers remain aware of how to properly use a ladder. Below, we take a look at ways on how to use a ladder properly, and how not to.
How To Properly Use A Ladder
Effective Employee Training
Every construction company should ensure that their employees are properly trained on how to use a ladder. By hiring a professional trainer to do this, you as the employer can expect efficient results. Ensure that the trainer covers essential topics such as fall protection systems and the proper placement of a ladder, among others.
Proper Ladder Set Up
Do not use ladders that are too short for the required tasks at hand. A ladder should be three feet or more above the place you would like to reach. Always place it on a smooth surface for stability while climbing the ladder.
Secure The Ladder
Using a ladder on a smooth and stable surface can ensure safety. However, securing the bottom and top of a ladder is always encouraged to minimize any emergencies and accidents. If you are using an extension ladder, you are advised to secure it into place before use.
The Right Ladder For The Task
Different ladders are built for different tasks, and can only support a certain amount of weight. Always ensure that you choose a strong and sturdy one that is made out of durable material. The ladder should be strong enough to support your body weight, as well as the weight of the load you are carrying.
Follow The 3- Point Rule
This rule entails when you are climbing up. You should always ensure that at least two of your feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot are in contact with the ladder.
The Improper Use of A Ladder
Now that we've established ways on how to use a ladder properly, we need to discuss the other side of this issue. Below are a few things that construction workers should not do while using a ladder within a construction site.
Trying to shift the location of a ladder while you are still on it
Leaning away/ or shifting your weight away from the ladder while you are still on it
Placing the ladder on an object to make it longer and reach higher
Facing away from the ladder while climbing up and down the ladder
To reduce the number of injuries and death incidences caused by ladder falls, companies are required to adhere to the guidelines stipulated by OSHA. They include:
Workers are required to always inspect the ladder before use
Always place ladders on stable ground and never place it on top of another object
Every worker is required to adhere to the 3- point rule
Construction workers are required to refrain from using self- supporting ladders
Every ladder in use must be three feet longer than the place of landing
Always ensure that all locks of the ladder are properly secured
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