6 Tips to Ladder Safety in the Workplace

Workplace safety unites the interests of employers and employees, as no one wants to see injuries or lost time from preventable incidents on the job. A properly structured Safety Incentive Program not only decreases injuries and lost time, it also works to increase productivity and overall employee satisfaction. 

As we mentioned in last week's blog post, May 5th kicks off OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down. This 10-day event serves to recognize the day-to-day safety challenges that employees in the construction industry face. During this time, management is encouraged to provide proper training and spread awareness of the hazards that the construction industry faces, showcasing opportunities to prevent safety-related incidents. 

Ladder Incidents in the Construction Industry

According to OSHA, incidents from improper ladder usage account for nearly 700 occupational deaths annually. Nearly 100% of these incidents could easily be prevented if proper attention to equipment and climber training were provided. Ladder falls account for 43% of fatal falls in the last ten years. Among construction workers as a whole, about 20% of fall injuries involve ladders. 

Before stepping foot on a ladder, your employees need to have an understanding of safe ladder practices. When utilizing a ladder for a workplace project, ask your employees perform a quick evaluation of their environment, including the height of the project space, what supplies will be needed to complete their task, and if they are wearing the right equipment to climb a ladder. Once this assessment is completed, they're safe to proceed with careful caution, total awareness of their surroundings, and level-headedness. 

Tips for Ladder Safety in the Workplace

The following are six helpful hints that employees should consider before or while using a ladder:

  • Check your shoes to make sure they are Ladder_Safety_National_Stand_Down_OSHAfree of mud, grease, oil, or any elements that may cause you to slip. Further, be sure that the soles of your shoes are free of debris, such as nails and screws. Remember NO leather soles!
  • Inspect the side rails for flaws and cracks. Promptly report and address any defects.
  • Ensure the right size ladder is selected for the job at hand:

    • The duty rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight of the climber on the ladder.
    • The length of the ladder must be tall enough, so the climber doesn’t have to reach for objects.
  • Ensure the ladder is on firm, level ground.
  • Face the ladder when moving up or down.
  • Do not carry objects up and down the ladder steps. 50% of ladder accidents are due to individuals carrying items as they climbed.

Implementing Safe Ladder Practices

To help prevent ladder falls within your organization, consider implementing firm Safe Ladder Practices. You can begin by following these simple steps:

  • Apply Safety-in-Design and Constructability principles to finish as much of the project on the ground as possible.
  • Perform monthly ladder inspections. Appoint a Safety Manager to perform an inspection at tool box time and instruct them to keep a log of the last time the ladder was inspected. Pay special attention for cautionary faults, such as:

    • Missing or loose steps
    • Non-slip feet
    • Loose nails, screws, bolts or nuts
    • A cracked frame or decayed, exposed fiberglass
    • Missing identification labels
    • Loose or faulty spreaders, locks, and other metal parts in a poor state
  • Give employees a thorough training on ladder safety best practices
  • Provide accessories and tie-offs to employees

As always, we suggest that you provide employees with positive reinforcement, such as rewarding safety with an Instant Award Card or sending employees an eCard with points, which enables them to shop for items on their Engagement Platform. Recognizing employees for safety is another great way employee recognition can show how united goals are within your organization!

OSHA Compliant Safety Incentive Programs Webinar

At C. A. Short Company, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform help you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

Topics: Safety, Employee Recognition, Construction

Jeff Ross, CPA, CRP, CSM

About the Author
Jeff Ross, CPA, CRP, CSM

Mr. Ross, a certified public accountant, joined the C.A. Short Company as its controller in June 1993 and was named Chief Financial Officer in November 1996. From there, Jeff was promoted to President and Chief Financial Officer, and in 2017, was appointed CEO. Before joining C.A. Short Company, Ross was employed as an accountant by Hausser + Taylor, a large public accounting and consulting firm. Jeff presently serves on the Board of Directors of 2XSalt Ministries, Charlotte, NC and is a member of North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Ross graduated from The Ohio State University with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1989.

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