Ladders are helpful for homeowners for everything from getting on roof to fix tiles to hanging up Christmas lights. Ladders are also one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment in almost any work environment. From common stepladders to sophisticated extension ladders, they can be found almost everywhere and for many jobs. Our training products on Ladder Safety show that because they are so common, many employees take ladders for granted, and don't take the appropriate precautions when using ladders. Topics on ladder safety include ladder accidents, inspection of ladders before use, how to properly climb on a ladder and many other topics.
Four Main Types of Ladder Accidents - Ladder accidents can come from a wide variety of issues, but the following four causes account for the vast majority and if the simple loss prevention tips for each cause are followed ladder accidents can almost be eliminated.
- Selecting the Wrong Type of Ladder - Like most other jobs, choosing the right tool can make all of the difference when it comes to safety and this is the same for ladders. One thing to consider when selecting an appropriate ladder is the ladder’s weight capacity.
- Using Worn or Damaged Ladders - Another common contributing factor to ladder accidents is the use of old, worn, or damaged ladders. Like everything else, ladders have a shelf life; after a couple of years the stress of being climbed up and down on causes ladders to break down.
- Incorrect Use of Ladders - Human error is by far the leading cause of ladder accidents. Never use a ladder in any other way than what the manufacturer intended it to be used for. Also, do not lengthen or alter a ladder in any way.
- Incorrect Placement of Ladders - Make sure that when positioning a ladder, the ground you place it on is level and firm. Ladders should never be placed in front of a door that is not locked, blocked, or guarded. A good practice to ensure a ladder is secure is to always have a helper support the base while a ladder is being used.