After ASSE in Dallas, I headed down to Louisiana for a bit. I spent a couple of days at home in Utah. I checked in at the Little Giant headquarters, and not I am in Houston for a few days. Next, I’ll be headed to, among few other places. I will be doing ladder safety trainings in each city. I’m excited to meet with the people and to do ladder safety training. Give a shout out if you are here because you saw one of the trainings! Hope you all have a great Independence Day this weekend!
I was just doing my daily news reading, when I came across an article about a Secret Servicemen getting injured from a fall from a ladder.
Like many of the other articles I run across, this article didn’t have much detail. In a nutshell, here’s what the article said:
One of President Obama’s Secret Servicemen was stationed at LAX Airport waiting for President Obama’s arrival, when the man fell from a ladder while trying to descend the building. The man is being treated for non life-threatening injuries in Los Angeles.
Apparently, even if your job is to protect the president, you are not immune to ladder-related injuries.
Just like it’s important for contractors to train and be trained, it is important to make sure those who work for the government are trained for proper ladder use as well.
We don’t know the type of ladder the man was descending, but we do know it was on the outside of a building. So, most likely it was either the cheese grater type or an extension ladder. If it was the cheese grater, all he had to do was lose his footing, and he would have bounced back and forth between the rails until he hit the bottom. For the extension ladder, there are a variety of things that could have gone wrong as well. Luckily, whatever happened wasn’t too serious since he is only being treated for minor injuries.
We haven’t had a news post in quite a while, so I thought we could do one today. Today, I ran across an article talking about construction accidents in New York City. Already this year, eight people have died in construction accidents in the city. Two of these deaths were caused by falls. One worker fell half a story from a ladder while another worker fell from scaffolding.
So, what’s causing these tragic accidents? The article talks about the overall increase in construction accidents in the New York City. The author attributes an increase in accidents to the increase in construction. He also talks about the issues of non-trained and non-unionized workers contributing to the increase in accidents.
When workers don’t receive the proper training, their work is just an accident waiting to happen. Going back to the worker who died after falling from a ladder, this story is quite sad and tragic. It’s awful to think that the outcome could have been much different if the worker had been trained properly, isn’t it? The author does not say much about specific details from each accident, but he does say clearly that the workers are not getting the right training.
The number of onsite accidents would decrease greatly if workers were provided with proper training. If your workplace does not have training included right now, consider what needs to be done to incorporate training. Feel free to use pieces of the Toolbox to get your training kicked off.
I often like to talk about the idea of “Grandpa’s Ladder.” Grandpa’s ladder is that old, rickety, wooden ladder you remember seeing your grandpa’s garage. Grandpa’s ladder has been around for a long time with no changes made to its design. The truth is, grandpa’s ladder is not safe. It wasn’t safe when it was first designed hundreds of years ago, and it is not safe now.
The alternative to Grandpa’s Ladder
More changes have been made to the ladder in the last few years than were made in the previous five hundred years. How crazy is that?
Here are some of the changes made by Little Giant Ladder Systems:
-Lightest weight while still being sturdy
-Adjustable outriggers to prevent tipping
-The Cage, eliminating the need to tie off
All of these great adjustments to the ladder mean the use for grandpa’s ladder is non-existent. If you still find yourself going after that old ladder in your garage or shed, make sure to ask yourself, “Why? Is my life worth it?”
Sometimes, it is easier to understand a concept if you have a little perspective to go off of, and safety is no exception. Here are just a few things you may not know about the history of workplace safety.
-The Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970. This act outlined a number of precautions businesses should take to help their employees be safer.
-The first construction-specific standard was issued in 1972.
-ANSI standards have been developed.
-Safety equipment has become much more advanced and overall safer over the last 50 years.
-More attention is given to care for those injured in on-site accidents.
-Ladders have gotten more advanced in the 20 years than they advanced in the previous 100 years.
The safety industry has made leaps and bounds in developments over the last few year. Hopefully, the industry continues to make the workplace safer. Being able to look back and see the different advancements is a great way to not only feel good about the progression, but also see what still can be done to prevent injuries on the job.