REMEMBER THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LADDER SAFETY
STEP UP TO SAFER USE OF LADDERS
What are some reasons that ladders are involved in incidents?
There is no such thing as a small fall. The forces generated when a person falls even a few feet to the ground or another surface can result in severe consequences, including broken bones and debilitating spinal injuries. One of the most vulnerable moments in using a ladder is when you are ascending or descending.
Keep the following safety rules in mind:
- Make sure that both feet of an extension ladder, or all four feet of an A-frame ladder, rest on solid level ground. If it shifts even a small amount while you are on it, it will greatly affect your center of gravity and possibly cause you to fall.
- Take special care when ascending or descending a ladder. Hold on with both hands when going up or down. Do not carry anything in your hands when actively climbing so that you can maintain 3-points of contact.
- Always face the ladder when ascending or descending. Never slide down a ladder. Be sure that your shoes are not greasy, muddy or slippery before you climb.
- Do not climb higher than the third rung from the top on straight or extension ladders, or the second tread from the top of stepladders.
- Never let down your guard when ascending or descending a ladder. Losing focus for even a second can be a deadly mistake.
Lastly, when planning work, a ladder is often selected as the tool for gaining access to elevated areas. But always think through how the ladder will used and consider if it is the appropriate means of access.