Falls continue to be one of the leading causes of injury and death in construction. Among construction workers, an estimated 81% of fall injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments involve a ladder, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SAFE LADDER USE
- Inspect – A competent person must visually inspect all ladders for any defects before use.
- Defective Ladders – Remove any defective ladder from service that is tagged as “Do Not Use” or similar language.
- Maximum load – The ladder must sustain at least four times the maximum intended load.
SAFE LADDER USE – EXTENSION OR PORTABLE LADDERS
- Extend the top of the ladder three feet above the landing and secure it to prevent it from tipping.
- Maintain three points of contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) when climbing or descending a ladder.
- Maintain a 4:1 ratio between the working height of the ladder and the base of the ladder.
- Face the ladder when climbing up or descending.
- Keep the body inside the side rails.
- Carry tools in a tool belt or raise tools up using a hand line. Never carry tools in your hands while climbing up or down a ladder.
- Keep ladders free of any slippery materials.
USE A CORRECTLY RATED LADDER
- IAA Special Duty Rugged is rated at 375 lbs. capacity.
- IA Extra Duty Industrial is rated at 300 lbs. capacity.
- I Heavy Duty Industrial is rated at 250 lbs. capacity.
- Lean or extend out beyond the ladder’s side rails.
- Place a ladder on boxes, barrels or unstable bases.
- Use a ladder on soft ground or unstable footing.
- Exceed the ladder’s maximum load rating.
- Tie two ladders together to make them longer.
- Ignore nearby overhead power lines.
- Use an extension ladder as a horizontal platform.
- Use a ladder in any way other than what the manufacturer intended.
Download a printable PDF and recording form here.
Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.