How to Safely Use a Ladder should be Workplace Safety 101 ... so why isn't it? No matter how high off the ground, a tumble off a ladder can have serious consequences.
According to OSHA, falls from portable ladders are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries. NIOSH reports that more than 500,000 people in the US are treated for ladder injuries every year and about 300 people die EVERY YEAR from ladder-related injuries.
OSHA Standard 1910.23(b)(9) states that the employer must ensure that ladders are inspected before initial use in each work shift, and more frequently as necessary, to identify any visible defects that could cause employee injury.
Always visually inspect all step ladders before use for any defects such as: missing/broken rungs, bolts, cleats, screws and loose components.
OSHA Standard 1910.23(b)(11) states that the employer must ensure that each employee faces the ladder when climbing up or down it.
If ladders are used by employees occasionally, regularly or daily (hint: if they are used AT ALL) then an annual safety meeting on ladder safety is a must! Here are some more important points to emphasize during the safety meeting or toolbox talk on ladder safety.
OSHA Standard 1910.23(b)(1) states that the employer must ensure that ladder rungs, steps, and cleats are parallel, level, and uniformly spaced when the ladder is in position for use.
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