Avoid Fall Hazards in the Workplace

I ran across this great article from Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. The article has ten tips for using ladders safely. They are all tips we’ve covered here before:

1. Inspect your ladder.

2. Make sure the ladder’s feet work properly.

3. Use fiberglass if you might be near electricity.

4. Make sure the ground is level and firm before setting up your ladder.

5. Make sure your ladder extends three feet above the landing point when using an extension ladder.

6. Maintain three points of contact.

7. Never carry something that will cause you to lose your balance.

8. Never stand on the top rung or top cap.

9. Never lean while on a ladder.

10. Don’t set your ladder somewhere it will block pedestrian traffic.

These tips are all safety ideas you’ve heard before, but, what I thought was really interesting, was the video they included. It is short and uses statistics from Washington State. However, the message is still there. Watch it below.

Download Video | Convert to MP3 | Advanced Video Downloader

Ladder Safety Tips Everywhere

I recently ran across this great article with tips for being safe on ladders. The article is from a few years ago, but the tips are still good! In fact, a lot of the tips are things we talk about regularly on this site.

Here are some of the tips from the article:

Use the right ladder for the job

We’ve talked about this point a lot on the blog. You don’t want anyone on your team using a stepladder when an extension ladder would be safer. You also don’t want someone using a regular stepladder when a ladder with telescoping sides would work better.

Use your ladder on firm and level ground

OSHA has plenty of tips for what to do if the ground is unlevel. You can either dig out one side so the legs are even, or you can prop one side up with cement blocks, dirt, etc.  You can also always use a ladder that allows you to adjust the legs to make the ladder level. You want to make sure the ladder is never being used on wet, slippery or unstable ground.

Make sure you never put more weight on the ladder than what it can handle

Each ladder has its own weight limit. Make sure each worker knows the weight limit of each ladder. Also make sure he or she knows to add the weight of tools to the worker’s weight in order to make sure the total weight doesn’t surpass the weight limit.

tips with the sumoAlways set up your ladder at the correct angle

OSHA says extension ladders must be set up at 75.5 degrees. So, how do you know if the ladder is at the correct angle? There are a couple of options. NIOSH has a great app you can download. You then set up your phone on the ladder to check the angle. The app tells you if the angle is too sharp or not sharp enough. Another option is to get a ladder with levels telling you if you are at 75.5 degrees. The SumoStance from Little Giant has bubble levels to let you know if you need to change the ladder’s angle.

Put the ladder away when you are not using it

This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Ladders that are left out are asking for problems. To prevent accidents, make sure your ladder is securely put away when you are done.

The article also gives tips for actually climbing the ladder. The article says, “Center your body between the rails of the ladder at all times. Leaning too far to one side while working is a no-no and can cause you to fall. If you were to have a belt on, the buckle should never be outside of the right or left rail of the ladder.”

This article had some great reminders for anyone who is climbing a ladder!

Training and Traveling

photoSorry I didn’t get much posted on Twitter last week. The Grainger Show went great. We met a lot of people and had a great time. This week, I’ve been busy traveling again.

I started over in Philadelphia. I worked with the four largest roofers in the area, more than 200 people total, and did safety training for them.  Why train photo1roofers? Falls from roofs are responsible for one third of all workplace fatalities. Remember to climb safe! If you were there, it was a pleasure meeting with you. There were great questions and participation from the group! Thanks for inviting me to come visit with and train you guys. It was a pleasure.

Now, I am in Iowa doing some training. I had the opportunity to visit th 
e John Deere plan in Des Moines. It was quite the setup! Here’s a little photo I took while I was there.IMG_5757

Today, with the help of our rep firm PMG, I did some training for the Iowa Master builders. It was a pleasure meeting with them as well. Were you there? Let me know your favorite part of the training!

Secure Your Ladder

Sumo Construction Roof_1In November, there was a news article about a man who fell from an extension ladder. The man climbed up an extension ladder, but the ladder slipped down the wall. The man got injuries to his back, head, neck, ribs and hand.

So, what’s caused the ladder to fall?

The owner of the ladder did not make sure the ladder was anchored properly before telling the man it was ok to climb. Also, he didn’t properly train the man before allowing him to climb. In addition, the homeowners did not warn the man that the place the ladder was being set up was slick. The man was able to seek damages from both the owner of the ladder and the homeowner.

What Can We learn?

As we’ve said before, you can never be too careful when it comes to ladder safety. From this story, we can be reminded of the importance of securing your ladder before climbing it. It is also incredibly important to check where you are putting your ladder before you set up the ladder. If the area is wet or slippery at all, don’t set up the ladder until the area is dry or the slicker area is cleaned up.

On the Road Again


Some of the participants at SCTE Conference

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks out on the road. Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably seen some of my updates. For those of you who haven’t, here’s a quick rundown.


Looks like a conference for the cable and electrical guys to me!

All last week, I was in Pittsburgh. The first part of the week, I was at the SCTE Conference, and I spoke there last Wednesday. There was a great turn out, and it was fun to meet so many people. On Thursday, I was able to sit down with the editor from Industrial Hygiene News. It was great to meet face to face and go over some of the safety issues in the industry. After meeting with the editor, I had the opportunity to meet with the Safety Committee from Risk Management Services in Pittsburgh. I spent the rest of my time in Pittsburgh with some of the Little Giant rep firms, providing them some training.

This week, I have been at the Grainger Conference in Orlando. I’ve been helping out a few people form the Little Giant team with the booth, and we’ve been talking with and meeting a whole bunch of people. It’s been great fun to hear from other suppliers and industry experts. I’ll be here for another couple of days, and then I’ll head back to Utah for a bit.

Were you at the SCTE Conference last week or are you at the Grainger Show this week? Tell us your favorite part!

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