05 Mar Ladder Safety
Ladder safety is extremely important, whether you are carrying shingles up to install a roof, or you are hanging Christmas lights. According to OSHA, falls from portable ladders are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries. How can we protect ourselves from such serious hazards?
Simply by taking the time to educate ourselves on how to use equipment properly and taking the time to do it right. There are several items to note when setting up a ladder for use. First, always read and follow all the labels and markings. Each ladder has a weight rating that should be followed. This limit is the TOTAL weight, not just the weight of the person. So, keep in mind how much equipment you are carrying up a ladder.
ALWAYS inspect your ladder before each use. Cracks may have formed in the fiberglass or there may be damage to the ropes or rungs. Climbing a ladder that has not been inspected can lead to severe injury by falls.
You also want to avoid electrical hazards. Never use a metal ladder when there are overhead powerlines in the vicinity and never set up a ladder in-between overhead lines. When setting a ladder up, make sure to find a level dry surface to put the feet on. If you must be on the ground instead of concrete or asphalt, turn the feet of the ladder up and press the spikes deep into the ground to stabilize it.
When you put up your ladder against the house, always remember the 4:1 rule. For every 4 feet of vertical height, move the ladder out 1 foot away from the exterior wall.
Always maintain 3-points of contact when climbing up and down a ladder (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand). Face the ladder at all times and keep your body inside the rails to maintain stability. To further maintain stability, make sure that the ladder extends 3 feet above the landing, or eave of the roof.
Elite Home Restoration makes sure to keep all its workers safe by taking OSHA safety training. If you are ever unsure about getting on a ladder, STOP!!! OSHA has free bulletins and guidelines on their website that may help your very situation. So, make sure to read up before stepping up. Thanks for reading today’s blog!