Ladder Safety Toolbox Talk

Ladder safety in construction is one of the most fundamental safety talks that your crew needs to know. Learn the risks when it comes to potential ladder incidents.

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Ladder Safety Talk

There are many dangers involved with using ladders and certain protocols that should be followed. Believe it or not, ladders contribute to a very large number of accidents and injuries for people.

Statistics and Facts About Ladder Injuries

You may look at a ladder being a very simple and harmless piece of equipment that people use every day. Any time that you are working from off the ground, you take a chance of falling and injuring yourself. There have been reports of many incidents that have to do with people on a ladder.

What Is the Most Common Injury While on a Ladder?

Looking back at incident reports of people on and off the job, the most common injury that people receive while using a ladder is a fracture. That can be to the arms, legs, or anywhere else on the body. It is important that you are always using caution and responsibility when climbing a ladder.

Statistics of Non-Fatal Injuries While Using a Ladder

50% of the ladder-related injuries that were recorded in 2015, happened when people were trying to multitask. Climbing a ladder requires you to use both hands and feet, when you are trying to carry something up a ladder, that task becomes a little more difficult. There were a total of 20,000 non-fatal injuries that were taken into consideration for this study.

Statistics of Fatal Accidents While Using a Ladder

Again, a ladder may seem like a simple thing for people to use. In 2015, there were 150 deaths that were recorded due to incidents while climbing a ladder. It is so easy to slip or fall when you are using a ladder. A good rule of thumb is to always have someone else there to help you when a problem arises.

Causes and Reasons for Ladder Falls

There are a number of reports made every year about people who have fallen or gotten injured while using a ladder. Those instances can range from not using proper caution to true and honest accidents. You should always use caution and abide by the safety rules that are given to you when using a ladder at home or on a worksite.

1. Neglecting to Inspect Area Prior to Use

Proper inspection of the ladder that you are using is very important. Weather and usage can take a toll on it and cause damage that can result in your getting hurt. If a ladder is cracked, has loose bolts, or needs repairs, you shouldn’t use it. Climbing a ladder is putting you at a height above ground level that can injure you badly if you fall.

2. Not Using Caution When on the Ladder

Ladders come with safety tips and practices that you should abide by. Thinking that you can use it however you see fit can result in you getting injured or killed. You should always follow the safe practices that are provided to you when using a ladder. Carrying objects in your hand while climbing a ladder is not advised, and neither is standing on the top step of a ladder.

3. Not Using the Correct Size Ladder

It may seem easier to you to just use the same ladder for every project that you are doing. That may be okay to do when everything's the same level, but you should never use a ladder that isn’t tall enough for the job. When you have to reach farther than needed, you take the risk of having an accident.

You have to also consider the ground and if it is level or not. Working on the unlevel ground with a ladder that isn’t stable can result in someone getting injured. You should always make sure that the ladder you are using is the right one for the job that you are doing.

Ways to Safely Use a Ladder

Your place of work may have strict guidelines that you are to follow when using equipment on the clock. There are safe practices that you should follow in general as well. This rule should stand when you are using a ladder at home or while working at your job. It can save someone's life and avoid unnecessary injuries.

  • Always make sure that the ladder is secure where it is sitting. You want it on level ground so you don’t topple over when trying to climb it. You can also have someone spotting you at the bottom and holding on to the ladder ensuring it stays put.
  • Never try to carry objects up a ladder, you need both hands and feet to properly and safely climb up a ladder. You can use a tool belt to store things that you may need while working. There are ways that you can make a pulley system or retrieval system to get the needed items to you.
  • NEVER climb all the way up to the top step to reach something. That is one of the most dangerous things that you can do.
  • The type of ladder that you use is important. You should always make sure that the one you are using is suitable for the job that you are doing. There are ones with different weights and reasons for use. Using the wrong kind can result in you getting hurt.
  • The job that you are doing should be within the normal range of where you place your ladder. Reaching or leaning to one side or another is dangerous and shouldn’t be done.
  • Do a proper inspection of your ladder before you try to climb on it. You do not want to climb up a ladder that has cracks or missing pieces.
  • Never place a defective ladder back for someone else to mistakenly use. Always make it known that it is out of use and shouldn’t be used. This can help to save someone else from getting hurt.
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