A Canadian man was at an industrial site in Toronto when he fell off his ladder and suffered numerous injuries. He later died at the scene. The accident is under investigation by the Canadian Ministry of Labour. The news site will have more information once the investigation is done, but regardless of the details, this accident is a tragedy.
These stories always get to me. This man was somebody’s father, husband, friend, son. It’s hard to know what happened to cause this accident, but regardless of the cause, the accident is tragic.
Remember the safety resources and tips we have on this blog and don’t let yourself be a victim of a ladder accident.
OSHA has a great document with safety tips for using stepladders. The document has general information about stepladders. Here are a few tips from OSHA:
Look at the job ahead of time. Choose the right equipment. Have the right amount of ladders, the right type of ladders and ladders with the correct height. Simply planning ahead can help prevent a variety of accidents.
Use a Ladder with the Correct Weight Rating
Nobody wants a ladder to break or collapse while the person is on them, but if your ladder’s weight rating is too low, that is exactly what could happen. Choose a ladder with a weight rating to hold both you and your equipment.
Avoid Common Stepladder Hazards
Follow all safety guidelines with your stepladder. Don’t stand on the top-rung or top cap. Stay between the rails.
Make sure you take a look at the document for a few more safety tips!
Fiberglass in good condition
A ladder accident in Tennessee led to one man dead and another injured. The two men were trimming trees near a power line when they had an accident. They were taken to a hospital where one man was pronounced dead and the other man was treated for non-life threatening injuries. An investigation found that the man who passed away had been moving a ladder when it struck an overhead line. He was electrocuted.
This tragic accident provides a few reminders.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re moving a ladder, look out for anything overhead.
- If you are working near any electrical wires or power lines, use a fiberglass ladder. Fiberglass does not conduct electricity, so it is not quite as dangerous if you accidentally touch something electrical with your ladder.
Looking for some resources to help you and your team work safely on your ladder? Don’t worry, I can help you.
The American Ladder Institute
The American Ladder Institute has lots of great information, tips and other resources on its website. You can take a ladder safety course and receive certification for free.
Ladder Safety Month
Ladder Safety Month takes places every March. During this month, you may see billboards, listen to webinars, receive emails and see posts on social media channels all talking about ladder safety and how to prevent ladder-related accidents. To participate, visit Ladder Safety Month’s website.
OH&S Magazine is a great resource for any topics related to workplace safety. The magazine can be mailed to you, or you can read it online. The site has an entire section dedicated to fall protection. They also regularly publish articles about ladder safety.
We listed OH&S by name, but that is just one choice of publication. Lots of magazines, websites and other publications share information on using your ladder safely. If you want something new to read, just do a quick search, and plenty of results will pop up.
One of the best ways to get ladder safety information is by participating in live training. If you’d like a fresh take on ladder safety, fill out the form we have on this site, and you will have someone contact you for a safety training.
Use your ladder safely like the model in this picture.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no shortage of ladder accident news articles out there. In December, another one caught my eye. This man was working on a ladder in Birzebugga, a city in Malta, an island off the shore of Italy. He was working at home, carrying some items to the roof when he fell off the ladder. The ladder then fell on top of the man, adding extra injury.
The article didn’t have any more detail on the accident or updates on the man’s condition, but the story can still provide a few reminders for us.
- Always check, recheck and check again before climbing your ladder
- If the ladder is leaned against a roofline, make sure it extends three feet past the roofline to prevent the ladder from sliding out
- Always maintain three points of contact when ascending or descending the ladder
- If you need materials at the top of the ladder, use a tool belt or a pulley system to get the materials where you need them.
We hope the man is able to make a full recovery, and we hope you can work safely on your ladder by following the safety tips above.