On construction jobs, there is any number of ways for accidents to happen, even for seasoned professionals who know what they’re doing. Ladders are one of the foremost causes of accidents, partly because they are such a mundane and regular part of any construction site – we simply don’t think much about them. Ladder incidents are included in the category of falls, which account for over 1/3 of all construction incidents. Even professionals on a concrete job could use a refresher on some important ladder safety tips.
Causes of Ladder Incidents
As mentioned, 1/3 of construction incidents come from falls, and over 81% of those fall incidents that end up at the ER involve ladders. The majority of these incidents involve the ladder moving, though another common cause is the worker slipping on a step or missing a step. Finally, the worker losing balance is another main cause of ladder incidents. Occasionally the injury is caused by the ladder breaking or by an object hitting the worker.
Choosing The Right Ladder
There are two types of ladders: fixed or portable. Fixed ladders are permanently attached to a structure and portable ladders are movable – portable ladders are responsible for most ladder incidents, including step ladders, straight ladders, extension ladders, and tripod ladders. When you choose a ladder, choose the right one for your job, including the right material (metal doesn’t mix with electrical work) and duty rating (weight capacity).
Recognizing Damage on Ladders
Damaged ladders pose an especially big risk, and they should be immediately repaired or removed from the job site until they can be repaired. If you’re not sure what sorts of damage to look for, there are lots of ways that ladders can get damaged. Missing items, like bolts, screws, or rungs are a big clue, as are worn treads or signs of rot or rust. Finally, remember to check for wobbles and damage to hinges.
Proper Ladder Usage
When using ladders, make sure you’re using them appropriately. Never use them on uneven or unsteady ground. Ladders used for roof access need to be at least three feet taller than the roof. Ladders should never be more than ¼ of their length away from a supporting wall, and you should never climb higher than the second tread from the top on a step ladder or the third rung from the top on a straight ladder. Finally, always keep three points of contact with the ladder: two feet and a hand, or two hands and one foot.
Get Your Concrete For Your Construction Site with G&M Services
G&M Services is proud of our employees and the dedication they have for safety in the workplace. We reward our employees for displaying positive safety practices. We incorporate weekly and monthly discussions and meetings to ensure that all involved are aware of how to handle equipment and potential situations that could occur during a project.
G&M Services offers services in the way of concrete drilling and sawing, concrete scanning, and FireStop. To get started with us, call today at 410-787-8828 or visit our contact page. Follow the official company page today on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.