Ladder Safety Regardless of Company Budget

A study from 2005 showed a correlation between the size of a company (a company budget) and the number of injuries (ladder safety). Smaller companies had more injuries than larger companies. This increase in injuries was attributed to a lack of investment in proper training and equipment.

How to Be Safe

If you work as the safety officer for a smaller company, there are a few things you can do to help your team stay safe, regardless of your budget.

ladder safety trainingProviding Ladder Safety Training

Sometimes budget and time constraints prevent safety officers from investing necessary resources on training. How can we expect people to be safe if they don’t have the training they need? The answer is we can’t. There are plenty of free resources available for ladder safety training. On this site alone, we have videos, resources and free safety training. Even if your company is on a shoestring budget, make sure you take advantage of the excellent resources available to you.

Invest in the Right Products

Equipment can get expensive, and quality equipment is even more expensive. The real question, however, is how valuable is a life? If safer equipment would save a life when the less expensive equipment would not, why wouldn’t you invest the extra money for the better equipment? Saving a few hundred dollars now is not worth losing someone’s life and inevitably spending more on costs associated with the death.

Regardless of the size of your company, make sure you are spending enough of your time and your budget to properly protect your team. With proper equipment and proper training, we can decrease the amount of injuries, and, hopefully, lower the injury discrepancy between large and small companies.

A Week Training in Alaska

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All ready for the Alaskan snow!

I spent the week teaching ladder safety on the north slope of Alaska. What an adventure! The culture of safety at the oil fields is second to none. Everyone was very involved in the classes and asked great questions. I learned a lot from everyone there. Thanks to all the great people who made me feel so welcome at the camp. Hope you enjoy the photos from the trip.

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The safety fair

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The camp

 

 

Creating a Safety Perimeter

safety perimeter

While they are not using the ladder safely at all, make note of the perimeter.

A safety perimeter is a great way to notify people that a ladder is being used. I ran across this story about man in England who was knocked from his ladder and critically injured.

Some ladder accidents are caused by poor equipment. Other ladder accidents are caused by people making poor choices while on the ladders. Still others are caused by people forgetting to follow safety protocol, like setting up a safety perimeter.

It would appear the unfortunate accident happened because a woman on a mobility scooter hit the ladder with her scooter, knocking the man to the ground. While we don’t know for sure if the man put up cones to notify people of the ladder, this story is a great reminder of why putting up a safety perimeter is important.

Setting up Perimeters

Setting up a perimeter is both simple and important if the ladder is being used in an area that gets any amount of traffic. When training your team, teach them to get some orange traffic or safety cones and put them around the place the ladder will be used. As you know, the cones will help pedestrians or drivers be aware of the ladder and avoid it.

While the perimeter seems like a simple precaution, it is something that is easy to forget to do. Do a quick training to remind your team of the importance of the safety perimeter. Remember, almost all ladder accidents can be prevented.

Reminders for Your Fiberglass Ladders

Fiberglass ladders are commonly used ladders since they are sturdy and can be used around electricity. While these ladders are common, it is still important to remind our teams of a couple of safety precautions specific to fiberglass.

Fiberglass Safety

worn fiberglass ladders

Shedding Fiberglass

Remind your team to always inspect the ladders, whether fiberglass or aluminum, to ensure they are still in working order. If you use fiberglass ladders on your job site, make sure to train your team how to tell when a fiberglass ladder needs to be retired. Train your team to check for cracks, bends or other damage.  If the ladder is worn, make sure to remind your team to take it from service and mark it as unusable.

Make sure they check the fiberglass and make sure it is still in good shape. A lot of times, fiberglass ladders are carried on the top of a vehicle and the sun beats down on the ladder. After time, the sun causes the fiberglass to become worn and bleached. While lighter colored fiberglass isn’t necessarily something to worry about, once the glass fibers begin shedding it is time for a new ladder.

Caring for Your Fiberglass Ladders

For the most part, fiberglass is cared for the same way other ladders are. The main difference with fiberglass ladders is protecting the fiberglass from getting

good fiberglass ladders

Fiberglass in good condition

too bleached and aged. One way to slow down the process is to keep the ladder from the sun. Instead of keeping the ladder on the work truck, for example, you could see if there is any room inside the vehicle. If your team has no option except to have the ladder go on the top of the vehicle, just keep an eye on it (and train your team to do the same) to prevent anyone from using a worn out ladder.

We want to help you get your team home safe at night. We hope you and your team will find these tips for using fiberglass ladders helpful.

Preparing for a Safe Holiday Season

holiday safetyThe holiday season is on its way. We are all looking forward to memorable times with family and friends, sitting around the fire and opening presents or eating turkey. For many, the holidays also mean putting on decorations, and putting up decorations means climbing a ladder.

Holiday Accidents Happen

Each year, the number of accidents increases around the holidays. In fact, according to acting chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Robert Adler, “There are about 250 injuries a day during the holiday season. Adding safety to your checklist can keep a holiday tradition from becoming a holiday tragedy. Keep Christmas trees watered well, don’t leave candles unattended and use caution whenever you are on a ladder.”

Training Tips

We can all be a little more diligent to prevent injuries this year. Here is a great article from the CPSC that goes over some DOs and DON’Ts to help you make it through the season accident free. This holiday safety information is helpful for anyone. Feel free to use it for you and your family. You may also find it helpful to train your team to help them stay safe this holiday season

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