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Ladder Training and the Belt Buckle Rule

Ladder Training and the Belt Buckle Rule

It might surprise you to know that almost half of all fatal fall accidents within the last decade have involved ladders. Ladders are such handy and simple tools that are used so often that many people can overlook the hazards that accompany them. Hospitals estimated that 81% of fall injuries treated for construction workers in the emergency department involved ladders as well. In the year 2011 alone, there were almost 50,000 reported ladder accidents. Ladder training on safe practices can greatly reduce people’s injuries and accidents.

So what is a safe practice we can use?

A simple rule that everyone should learn and follow from ladder training is called the “belt buckle rule.” This rule is very self-explanatory. The user of the ladder should simply keep their body positioned to keep their torso and belt buckle in between the side rails of the ladder.

People often lean out around the sides of ladder to get to things that might just be out of their reach. But this makes the ladder unstable. When a ladder is climbed it becomes top heavy. So when someone leans out to one side of a ladder or the other, the ladder becomes very unstable very quickly.

The belt buckle rule is one of the simplest principles one can learn in ladder training, in order to ensure that the person climbing ladder does not lean out too far, causing the ladder to fall.

So while using a ladder if you cannot reach the job you are working on, or easily get to something you may be reaching for without keeping your belt buckle and torso within the side rails of the ladder you should climb down and adjust the ladder to a safer position.

This safe practice is just one of many that people can learn from ladder training. Thousands of accidents can and will be avoided by following things like the belt buckle rule.

Training is key in any job, and you should be sure that you know the equipment you are working with. To find training for your job and site, follow the links below:

Training Kits

Online (eLearning) Training Courses

Onsite Training