Do you use ladders last at work? June is National Safety Month, and Medcor wants you to be aware that fall protection is by far the most frequently cited violation by OSHA –and it has been the number one violation for the past 10 years! Keep reading about ladder safety and think twice the next time you reach for a ladder to complete your task at work or at home.
Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, and ladders cause a majority of all fall-related injuries. Fall protection is any equipment used to make working at heights safer, including alternatives to ladders. Improper use of fall protection equipment is the number one citation issued, but ladders are not far behind at number three. Ladders are convenient for lofty tasks, but too many people overlook safety precautions and end up injured.
The “Ladders Last” program is a program built to prevent falls and save lives by reducing the use of ladders overall, and education on ladder safety for when you do need a ladder. Using a ladder always comes along with a risk of a fall, so think twice before resorting to one. Is there any other method you can use to give you a boost without the risk of using a ladder? Ladder alternatives include:
- Aerial lifts or scissor lifts
- Moveable stairs
If you determine the task requires a ladder you need to take precautions. Most ladder accidents occur when ladders are used outside the manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure you:
- Use the right ladder for the job and don’t go above the height you need to complete the task.
- Visually inspect the ladder before use for any defects.
- Set up the ladder properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have another employee there whenever possible.
Using ladders last prevents injuries, and it’s important that every employee in a workplace is aware of a program like this and participates to lower the chance of incidents. Large construction sites and small businesses alike can all benefit from having this policy. There are only benefits to keeping workers safe—remember National Safety month and use ladders last!