If you or your employees use ladders on the job it is important to follow these eight common sense rules for ladder safety. OSHA estimates that there are 24,882 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year as a result of falls on stairways and ladders used in construction. Almost 50% of the injuries required time off the job.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has these recommendations for workers using ladders:
• Make sure the weight the ladder must support –– including the materials being carried/used –– does not exceed its maximum load capacity
• Check for proper length –– at least three feet or three rungs above the surface being worked on or above the roofline
• Set up at about a 75-degree angle for straight or extension letters
• Metal ladders should have slip-resistant feet and not used near open electrical work or near overhead power lines.
• Engage all locks on the extensions
• Place ladder on ground or floor that is level and firm
• Make sure all doors near or beneath the ladder are blocked, locked or guarded
• Avoid using the top three rungs of a straight or extension ladder and the top step on a step ladder.