March is National Ladder Safety Month

Topics: Loss Control

Each year, more than 100 workers are fatally injured in ladder-related accidents, with thousands more suffering disabling injuries. Whether you’re on the job site or checking off your to-do list at home, keeping safety top of mind when using a ladder can help avoid a serious injury or even death.

This year marks the third annual National Ladder Safety Month, presented by the American Ladder Institute – a not-for-profit association dedicated to promoting safe ladder use. In recognition of National Ladder Safety Month, here are some easy-to-remember tips for safer ladder use.

Seven Ladder Safety Tips

1. Inspect a ladder before use. Check for broken rungs or rails. 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 four to one rule for extension ladders. For every four feet of height you are climbing, move the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall. 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 three-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 stepladders, the second tread from the top should be your stopping point.

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be holding its sixth annual National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction from May 6-10, 2019. A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event that allows employers to talk directly to employees about safety related issues and potential job hazards, and discuss ways to help reduce risks and prevent injuries. Find out more about this year’s OSHA Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

Remember, practicing ladder safety at home or in the workplace is the key to preventing a devastating injury. 

Need More Loss Control Information?

AmTrust offers a wealth of loss control resources, including an extensive library of safety training videos and materials related to a variety of workers’ compensation hazards, as well as industry-specific resources. Contact AmTrust Loss Control today for more information.

This material is for informational purposes only. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors.Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.


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