Ideas for YOU During Ladder Safety Month

100Are you wondering what to do to help during Ladder Safety Month? Here are a couple of ideas:

Here are just a few ideas to get you going:


  • Promote National Ladder Safety Month with weekly ladder safety-centered blog posts to bring awareness.
  • Send weekly internal company memo / eblasts on ladder safety to employees.
  • Include National Ladder Safety Month in employee/customer newsletter.
  • Invite a ladder safety expert to conduct a live ladder safety training to every person in your company.
  • Hold a contest within your company for the best ideas to promote ladder safety across the entire organization.
  • Issue a press release on how your company is promoting Ladder Safety Month and what changes you will make to keep your people safe while using ladders.
  • Hold your own ladder safety “standdown” during the first week of Ladder Safety Month.
  • With your employees or members, attend a live Ladder Safety Webinar during the month of March. Several highly respected publications will be holding at least one Ladder Safety webinar during Ladder Safety Month, including Occupational Health & Safety, ISHN, and Safety + Health
  • Conduct ladder safety inspections on all of your ladders during National Ladder Safety Month. You can use the Ladder Inspection Checklist provided here. Remove from service and properly destroy any ladders that do not pass inspection.
  • Share ALI and other ladder safety content daily on your social media outlets.
    • Share stories, videos and images of ladder safety fails
    • Share links to ladder accident-related stories and news releases
    • Share statistics on ladder safety incidence and costs
    • Share stories of real people who have been affected by ladder accidents: these appear in the news several times a week. Several of the blogs mentioned above also publish these stories.
  • Offer incentives to all in your organization who complete online ladder safety training at during the month of March.


The Most Common Work Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Today, we have a guest post from Dixie Somers, a freelance writer:

An estimated 8.5 million work-related injuries occurs each year in the United States, and these add up to $192 billion in costs to the economy. Many of these injuries can be prevented, but it takes continuous attention to workplace safety to ensure that everyday hazards are eliminated. Here are a few of the most common work injuries and step business owners can take to minimize these incidents.

Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are among the most common work-related injuries. These problems are often a result of liquids spilled on the floor, clutter in work areas and improper storage of tools and work materials. Business owners and supervisors should institute ongoing efforts to provide well-organized work areas with sufficient storage space to keep employees safe and productive.

Ladder Accidents

Falling from ladders is a common work-related injury. Ladders carry a high potential for injury, which may result from failure to inspect the equipment, high winds, improper position or attempting to carry loads while climbing. The American Ladder Institute sets out a number of guidelines for safe ladder use, including wearing sturdy shoes when working on ladders, using the proper type of ladder and surveying the area where the ladder will be used for potential hazards.

Back Injuries

Back strains and disc injuries are a common problem that occurs when workers engage in lifting heavy items during their duties. These injuries can be avoided with proper safety training. All workers should be educated on proper lifting techniques, assist others engaged in lifting tasks and should be encouraged to use material handling equipment to prevent back injuries.

Repetitive Use Injuries

Movements that are done repeatedly throughout the workday can lead to “repetitive use injuries.” These problems may result from continuous twisting movements, lifting movements or repeated stress injuries, such as in carpal tunnel syndrome. To prevent these issues, workers should be provided with back, arm or wrist braces that can provide additional support for affected body parts. If you’re a victim of these types of injuries, you may need to speak with a worker’s compensation attorney. For more information about worker’s compensation, visit an attorney’s website and see what sort of help you can get.

Toxic Fumes

Workers may also be affected by inhalation injuries from toxic fumes used in the workplace. These compounds include paints, solvents, dusts, mists and particulates that can irritate the lungs and cause long-term damage. All employees who work in these areas should be provided with appropriate respirator masks to prevent inhalation hazards.

Reducing work injuries is an important consideration for businesses. These incidences not only impact workers, but also affect the company’s bottom line. Regular safety training can help to reduce work-related injuries and ensure a safe working environment for all employees.

Ladder Safety: Prevention by Design

HyperLiteSumo Levelers2One of the steps to preventing ladder accidents is designing safety concerns out of the ladder. Here are a couple of examples of products made safer by design:

Safety Cage

Many companies require workers to tie off to a suitable anchor point where they can work at heights with both hands. These standards can be difficult (and sometimes impossible!) to keep, so Little Giant came out with the Safety Cage and Adjustable Safety Cage. The Cages are a safe, alternative to tying off. Both Cages are made of  non-conductive, high-strength fiberglass-resin composite. The Adjustable Safety Cage is fully adjustable in one-foot increments, while the Safety Cage is a fixed size.  Operators can work in a fully enclosed working platform, allowing them to work safely and quickly with two hands while complying with industry regulations.


The most common ladder-related injury is strains and sprains from carrying and lifting heavy ladders. Now, there is a ladder that will help prevent those types of injuries. The lightest fiberglass ladder in the world is on the market. It is called the HyperLite.


Side tips from ladders cause some of the most catastrophic injuries. The SumoStance outiggers, increase side tip stability and help prevent these types of accidents from happening.

Ground Cue

A significant percentage of ladder accidents happen when the worker misses the bottom rung. The Ground Cue is available on some ladders as a bottom rung indicator with a notification the operator can both hear and feel when he or she reaches the last rung.

Ratchet Levelers

The ground isn’t always level when it’s time to work, but Ratchet Levelers adjust to uneven ground to make the ladder stable and safe.

Working With Ladders: Construction Site Safety

Emergency-signToday, we have a guest post from John M. O’Brien & Associates, a group that tries to raise awareness about the safety issues of working with ladders on construction sites. Here is the post:

Ladders are often the first tool workers choose when performing tasks at elevation. Although taken for granted because they’re so easy to use, ladder-related accidents are the cause of a significant number of workplace accidents. Selecting the wrong type of ladder for the job, setting up the ladder improperly, or not working safely on the ladder are responsible for 20 percent of the fall injuries occurring each year in the U.S.[1] In order to avoid ladder accidents, employers are required to train their employees on how to use ladders, ladder hazards and ladder capacities.

Ladder-related accidents

From cuts, scrapes and bruises to serious injuries, such as broken bones and brain damage, to death, ladder accidents present a significant risk to the user. Ladder use should be approached with caution, ensuring all key practices are followed. It is when recommended safety measures are ignored, that injuries occur. Ladder accidents often result in serious and needless harm for the worker and in the employers being held financially responsible for any accidents caused by their disregard for safety.

These verdicts and settlements obtained by John M. O’Brien & Associates illustrate some of the most common ladder accident scenarios:

Improperly set up ladder

We had a case with a fire alarm technician inspecting the fire alarms at a construction site. The technician was injured after falling from an extension ladder, provided by the construction site supervisor. As a result of falling from the ladder, the technician broke both feet, suffered other orthopedic injuries and a compression fracture in his spine.

Mr. O’Brien argued in court that the supervisor who set up the ladder for the fire alarm technician had done it incorrectly and he had not inspected or maintained the ladder, violating OSHA regulations. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the injured worker. The construction site had to pay him for damages, lost wages, past medical costs, and future medical costs.

This case gives us a few reminders. Many accidents occur as a result of ladders being put on slick or loose surfaces that can contribute to ladder movement. A ladder set up with hazardous surroundings is also a common cause of accidents. Always inspect your ladder before you use it and before you let others use it. Also, train your team and any other visitors who will be using a ladder on how to use it safely.

Selecting the wrong type of ladder for the job

Our client was a worker helping on some repairs when he fell from the ladder to the sidewalk. The ladder had been selected by his co-workers, was too short for the specific task and had not been secured. The worker fell while coming down the ladder, suffered major injuries and had to go to the hospital. He is now unable to work and still suffers from the accident. The court awarded our client $1.1 million dollars, compensation covering medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The safety issues from this case are pretty obvious. Select a ladder that has an adequate height and weight capacity for the specific task and make sure it is secured.

Using a damaged or worn ladder

We had another case for a worker injured in a ladder accident. Our client was at a job site, about to climb a ladder, when he realized it was in bad shape. He told the supervisor who sent him home. When he returned to the job site, he climbed a ladder that appeared safe. However, the spreader bar was cracked and gave way, causing him to fall eight feet to a concrete floor, fracturing his leg, and requiring corrective surgery.

This case is a good reminder of the importance of providing safe equipment and taking off the site ladders that are in bad shape. Loose or missing rungs, split stiles, and spoiled or absent feet are common reasons for damaged ladders causing accidents. In the case we presented, there was an issue with the spreader bar that could have been caught with an inspection.

Workplace safety measures and training for the selection, safe use and care of the most frequently used ladders are meant to protect people working with ladders on construction sites. John M. O’Brien & Associates strongly advises employers to ensure they are putting safety first and protecting their employees against safety hazards while on the job.





Infographic: The Everyday Killer

Here are the sources for our Everyday Killer Infographic (to be posted soon):



  • between 1958 and 2016 there were 2,785 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks around the world, of which 439 were fatal.[4]
  • ^This averages to 7.6 deaths per year in shark attack


  • Each year, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. that are caused by falls from ladders. Most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less. Falls from ladders are the leading cause of deaths on construction sites.
  • 365 deaths “ Every day, nearly 2,000 people are injured while using a ladder. Every day, 100 people suffer a long-term or permanent disability. And every day, one person dies. One mother or father, one daughter or son never returns home. We come to work every day to change that. Every single member of our team understands why we come to work every day and why we do what we do: to prevent injuries and save lives.”



  • In the US, between 9% and 10% of those struck die, for an average of 40 to 50 deaths per year (28 in 2008)

Faulty Parachute

Dog Bites





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