Topics: Infographic Loss Control
According to the American Ladder Institute, over 300 people die each year in ladder-related accidents, while thousands of others suffer disabling injuries. Whether you are working at a job site or simply taking care of your to-do list at home, keeping safety at the forefront of your mind can help avoid a serious injury or even death.
In recognition of National Ladder Safety Month, here are seven simple tips to remember for safer ladder use.
#1. Inspect a ladder before use. Check for broken rungs or rails, and when using an extension ladder, also check the pulleys, ropes and locks for signs of excessive wear. Lastly, check the footings to make sure they still have a non-skid surface.
#2. Remember the 1:4 rule for extension ladders. Let’s say you’re using a 12-foot ladder. According to the rule, the base should be three feet from the structure. Some ladders have an illustrated guide somewhere on it to help you with this.
#3. Reach three feet beyond. The ladder should reach at least three feet beyond the point of support and should be secured.
#4. Follow the 3-point rule. Make sure to have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand, in contact with the ladder at all times.
#5. Face forward. When ascending or descending, always face the ladder. Also, remember to have both hands free to grasp it securely. Tools should be carried in a tool belt or pulled up with a rope once you have reached your working area.
#6. Stay balanced. Don’t overreach! Keep your body between the side rails of the ladder. This helps reduce the chance of tipping it over or of falling off.
#7. Remember your stopping point. When using a straight or extension ladder, don’t climb higher than the third rung from the top. For step ladders, the second tread from the top should be your stopping point.
Following these seven tips can help prevent a ladder-related injury. For more information on loss control measures and help to avoid injuries in the workplace, check out our Loss Control/Loss Prevention page.