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What Are The Five Steps to Ladder Safety?
It can be difficult to follow up on every minor detail in regard to the ladder regulations laid out by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers cannot always be around to supervise every single employee who ends up using a ladder in the workplace.
Therefore, providing employees with ladder safety training and regulations can be very important in preventing accidents and falls. The five most important ladder safety rules, according to OSHA regulations, are as follows:
- Ladder maintenance is important
- Never go over a ladder’s weight limit
- Always practice basic ladder safety
- Always climb a ladder the correct way
- Never ignore ladder extension limits
We will go into detail about each of these five rules later in the article. We will also be discussing specific OSHA Requirements and the importance of ladder safety training.
The Importance Of Ladder Safety
Before we jump into the article, you must first have an understanding of how ladder safety impacts employees. As minor as they may seem, of all the fatal work-related injuries, fall from ladders are the cause of at least twenty percent.
Accidents can be prevented by learning about ladder safety. Several potential factors can cause a ladder-related accident. Many incidents stem from the employee’s lack of safety training.
Accidents involving a fall from any place on a ladder are most frequently caused by the ladder sliding at the base and tipping sideways. Both of these causes can be eliminated if employees are taught what ladder safety is and how to prevent falls.
5 Simple Ladder Safety Rules & OSHA Requirements
Each of the five ladder safety rules listed in the first section follows the OSHA regulations on ladder safety. It is vital to understand that all of the following rules and guidelines apply to all types of ladders. Throughout the next couple of sections, we will go into detail about each rule and the standards behind them.
It is required by OSHA that all ladders be maintained, free of slipping hazards, and inspected on a regular basis by a competent person for irregularities that could cause a fall or casualty.
A ladder with any structural defects should not be used until it is fixed up. Some examples of a structural defect include broken or missing:
Ladders should also be inspected before every use to ensure that the ladder is not broken or going to otherwise compromise the employees’ safety.
Ladder Weight Limit
According to OSHA, the safe use of ladders involves weight limits. Safe ladders must be able to withstand a drop test of 500-pounds of weight being dropped 18 inches against a vertical standing ladder. If the ladder is able to withstand this drop, then the ladder is safe to work on.
You should always avoid exceeding the recommended maximum weight limit of the ladder you are working on. This should include the weight of the employee and all of the supplies being carried.
Practice Basic Ladder Safety
As simple and safe as climbing a ladder may seem, OSHA has had to implement multiple ladder safety standards to prevent issues that may seem obvious. However, everyone makes mistakes or skips a step from time to time, which is why these standards exist.
OSHA states that it is hazardous to use a ladder for something it was not intended for. They also require ladders to only be used on stable or level surfaces unless they are sufficiently secured to prevent an accident. Lastly, a ladder should not be moved in any way if there’s an employee on it.
Ladder Climbing Practices
OSHA ladder safety training requirements state that employers should actively remind their employees of the safe ladder climbing practices that are laid out by OSHA Requirements. These standards and safe practices are:
- Always face the ladder when climbing in either direction
- Always have at least one hand on the ladder at all times
- Do not carry an object or load that could cause the ladder to tip over
Ladder Extension Limits
Employees should actively adhere to the extension limits on extension ladders. Each type of ladder will have different parameters when it comes to weight and height. Because each is different, it is important to know the recommended limits no matter what ladder you are using.
Extensions are very convenient tools that grant employees access to a raised surface area. But if extensions are used for tasks that they were not designed for, they can prove hazardous to work on.
Other Ladder Safety Tips
There are many other important ways that you can stay safe while working on or around a ladder that are not listed under OSHA’s ladder safety regulations. For example, looking out for your fellow employees is always vital in the workplace. If you see a coworker in a potentially hazardous situation, you can take the steps to dissolve the situation or prevent the situation from causing any further harm.
Be On The Same Page
Another way employees can stay safe on the job when working with ladders is to follow all the safety rules that have been put in place by your employer. All policies and procedures have been implemented in the workplace for your safety. If you do not follow these, not only are you putting yourself at risk of injury, but you are compromising the safety of others as well.
Here’s How Our Ladder Safety Training Works
There are many ways to complete safety training; however, some ways are not easy, convenient, or affordable. Here at Hard Hat Training, we pride ourselves on our training courses, each one being engaging, efficient, and affordable. All of our safety courses are OSHA Aligned and only contain necessary information that is related to the training you need. We work hard to provide our customers with the most effective safety training.
Our course catalog has over 200 different training subjects and courses for our customers. All of our courses are fully narrated and we even offer some in Spanish. View all of our Ladder Safety Training courses or specifically our Ladder Safety – Competent Person Course are available for purchase and completion today.