Little to know thought is usually put into the equipment that is used every day on a construction site, especially if it isn’t a power tool. One thing you might not think about is something that construction workers use every day, the ladder and the safe operation of them. Well times have changed and so have safety regulations. In the modern age of construction, safety comes before all else when building custom homes.
Ladder safety is not hard to teach and does not take a lot of time.
There are many reasons why you should teach ladder safety:
• The main tool for helping workers get off the ground is a ladder.
• There are so many different types of ladders and different uses for ladders that safety needs to be thought about every time a different ladder is brought to the jobsite.
• Ladders that are not in use can be a safety hazard from falling on workers to a tripping hazard.
• Younger workers with little experience on ladders will not understand the limits of ladders.
• Government inspectors are looking to flag improper use, improperly stored or damaged ladders in onsite safety inspections.
Here are some simple tips for ladder safety:
• Any ladder placed vertically to a higher point (for example: between floors, to a roof) must be tied off at the top.
• Any ladder placed vertically that is not to be used and cannot be tied off must be lied down on the ground.
• Any ladder placed on the ground must be placed out of the way of main traffic and work areas.
• When using a ladder try to always keep three points of contact. That means 2 feet and one hand or 2 hands and one foot.
• Never stand on the top of a step ladder no matter how high off the ground you will be.
• Never use a ladder as a bridge over a hole.
• Always remove damaged ladders; a broken rung can be very dangerous.
• Take the time to give a lesson to any employee that has never used a new or different kind of ladder.
• Ladders should be inspected for flaws, the larger the ladder the more important it is to inspect before its use.
• If you require two hands to work at the top of a high ladder (for example: installing soffits) you should be wearing a safety harness that can attach to the soffit on a retractable reel.
• Never work off two ladders as once, crossing from one ladder to the next without returning to the bottom.
• Buying a better quality of ladder will allow the ladder to survive longer on a jobsite and cause less safety issues in the future.
• Having multiple lengths and types of ladders on a job site allows ladders to be used as they have been designed. This also eliminates the need to share ladders, which in turn eliminates the need to rush or hurry.
• Never haul extremely heavy items up a ladder, the combined weight of worker and object being carried can exceed the hung tolerances and cause the rung to break. It is better to use a different piece of equipment
to lift it up such as a shingle lift, crane or zoom boom.
• Placing a piece of lumber at the bottom of a ladder horizontally attached to the floor will help stop the ladder from slipping and kicking out.
• In winter months be very careful on where you set a ladder up, ice and snow can be extremely dangerous and cause the ladder to collapse or tip over.
Like everything to do with construction safety common sense will help go along way, always take your time and if you don’t understand how something works always ask for instructions.
Village Builders Inc.