Accidents and falls from ladders are one of the leading causes of work-related injuries all over the world. Studies show that most of these accidents are caused by the carelessness on the part of users or lack of safety procedures being in place. Below are some safety practices that should be followed while using ladders in the workplace.
If you are using an extension ladder, make doubly sure that the extension locks are not shaky or damaged. Ensure that the ladder base is on level ground and inspect the rungs for any debris that could off-set your balance. Step ladders should be secured properly while in the open position and a folding step ladder must never be used in an unfolded position.
Ladder accidents are also caused by the wrong selection of ladders for a specific job, instability, electric shock and falls, which can all be prevented with a bit of care. Stick to these safe working practices to prevent ladder accidents.
Keep the body weight centred on the ladder and climb one rung at a time. Make sure to keep your feet placed fully inside the rungs and not just the toes, which can make you wobbly.
Remember, your foot should be strongly placed on the rung before taking off the other foot. If you are carrying some extra weight in terms of tools etc, it becomes more difficult to retain your balance, as visibility is likely to be hampered. It is advisable to carry tools in a tool belt or pouch rather than in your hands.
Do not stand above the top three steps of any stepladder or on its rear section. Make sure not to bend your body outside the rails of a ladder. Move the ladder if you need to reach out to something outside the rails.
Lastly, never take an unnecessary risk as a ladder accident could leave you grievously injured. Do not rush while using a ladder, as climbing down from many feet above the ground requires patience and time! Follow these simple steps and you’ll avoid one of the most common work-site injuries from happening to you.