Ladder Safety Challenges and Solutions for the Construction Industry

By: | July 26th, 2016

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Accidents at the workplace are a common scenario, and most of them are caused by falls, which are further induced by ladders! Shocking, isn’t it? Studies report that more than 20-25% of deaths caused by falls could be attributed to ladders. Who thought ladders could be so unsafe?

Just like familiarization with machinery, before a worker joins the industry, an orientation program should also be implemented for correct usage of stairways and ladders at the workplace. Untrained workers, weak or defected ladders, and carelessness equally contribute towards risk factor, thereby even causing permanent damage or death to the worker.

There are many points one should keep in mind while using ladders in the workplace:

Getting On and Off Equipment – It’s very important to be careful at every step of the ladder, especially when it is too long, and the height is too much because sudden falls can cause serious injuries and even deaths. It’s necessary that a worker is careful while climbing and down to avoid any mishap.

Ladder Incidents in the Construction Industry – Ladders are the most commonly used instruments in the construction industry. Ladders are not only easy to carry as compared to other heavy machinery, but easy to use. Even an uninitiated person knows how to climb a ladder. All you need to do is be a little careful. But even then there are many incidents and mishaps related to ladders in the construction industry. Much of the time, workers don’t even get proper compensation in return. ‘Rochester workers compensation attorney’ makes sure that the workers are not discriminated against by big organizations. They make sure you get the best deal and best protection.

Tips for Ladder Safety in the Workplace – It should be compulsory for every worker to attend a basic orientation program before they start working in the organization. And in the program, they should be taught about ladders and how to use them safely.

Implementing Safe Ladder Practices – Every worker should make sure that they are trained in using ladders before they are assigned work which involves the usage of ladders. Make sure that the surface on which the ladder is placed is even and completely dry so that it is neither imbalanced nor has a chance to fall.

Dry Footwear and Non-Slippery Surface – Workers should also check that their footwear is completely dry, and the surface of the ladder is not slippery to avoid any accident.

Select the Right Ladder for the Job – It’s also important to know what ladder you need for which job. Different ladders constitute different load capacities. If the worker needs to carry heavy duty material at a height, the ladder should be robust enough to bear the weight and not collapse.

Inspect Ladders From Time to Time – A timely inspection of all machinery, including ladders, should be carried out to make sure that none of them are too old to use. The ladders should be in proper working condition and not be damaged or broken at any point.

Identify the Nature of the Material of the Ladder – The material use to construct the ladder also depends on the type of work you need to perform with it. Electric works should not be carried out with metallic ladders, and similarly, jobs in areas with high humidity or water should not be carried out with wooden ones as they can break.

Carry Tools Safely and Securely – Workers should carry tools in either a toolkit or a belt, and never loosely in their hands as it can cause a serious fall.

Distribute Your Weight Evenly – Never try to lean around while you are on the top of a ladder. Always make sure that balance is maintained, and you are not prone to any accidents.

While in the workplace, it’s not just about the money you make, but safety, health, and wellbeing too. Ladders, if used with caution, can become a great aid at your workplace.

Guest Post: Paul Gilbert

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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