Today is Worker’s Memorial Day,a day recognized around the world to remember workers who have been killed, disabled, or injured by their work.
Worker’s Memorial Day is designed to “highlight the preventable nature of most workplace incidents and ill health and to promote campaigns and union organization in the fight for improvements in workplace safety.”
The day’s slogan is “Remember the dead –Fight for the living.”
The first Worker’s Memorial Day was back in 1970 and has continued for the last 46 years.
We usually focus specifically on ladder safety and preventing ladder accidents, but Worker’s Memorial Day focuses on any type of injury or accident at work.
Let’s take today to join with others around the world to remember those who have been injured at the workplace and vow to be safer today and in the future.
You always want to make sure you inspect your ladder before using it. A number of accidents can actually be prevented with a proper –pre-climb inspection. You want to make sure every piece of the ladder is in good working order and that no part of it has been damaged in any way. To make it easier for your team, have a checklist for them to look at and fill out before climbing. You can actually get one from the toolbox section of this site. Feel free to download it and make copies available to your team.
Maintain three points of contact
Always make sure to maintain three points of contact when on the ladder. Have three parts of your body touching the ladder at all times. Three points of contact helps the operator keep balance, preventing falls.
When on your ladder, make sure to keep your belt buckle between the rails. Leaning causes the ladder to tip, which often leads to serious injury. It can be tempting to “just lean a little more” to get a job done, but you need to get off the ladder and move it, preventing the ladder from slipping.
Don’t Stand on the Top Rung or Top Cap
As we’ve said before, never stand on the top rung or top cap of a ladder since doing this can cause the ladder to tip much more easily than if you stay on the rungs meant for climbing. If you feel the need to stand on the top, find yourself a taller ladder to use instead.
What are other tips for climbing safe?
As you know, sometimes we like to do quick tips for our readers. Keeping that in mind, here is a simple list of ladder do’s and don’ts.
-Make sure the ladder is stable and in good condition. Check the weight rating and make
sure you and your equipment are under the weight rating.
-Be careful when working around hazards
-Use the right ladder for the job
-Perform an inspection on the ladder
-Follow all ladder safety guidelines
-Maintain three points of contact
-Put too much weight on the ladder
-Overreach on ladders or stepladders – (Instead, DO Follow the belt buckle rule)
-Use ladders if workers cannot maintain three points of contact (hands and feet) at the working position.
-Climb the ladder if you are in any way impaired.
These are just a couple of tips for things to do and not do. What quick tips do you keep in mind when on a ladder?
What should you do to be safe when using an extension ladder? Here are a few things we have found helpful.
Inspect the Ladder
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again. We cannot express the importance of doing a good ladder inspection enough. With an extension ladder, make sure the ropes and pulleys are functioning correctly. Check the ladder’s fly to make sure it’s in good condition. Check all the welding and riveting to make sure everything is secure. Once every piece of the ladder has been looked at and passed off as safe, you can feel safe to climb the ladder.
Follow the Belt Buckle Rule
When climbing your ladder, make sure to stay between the rungs. Leaning to one side can cause the ladder to move knocking the operator to the ground. Even if the leaning causes the bottom of the ladder to move just one inch, that little bit results in the top of the ladder moving a foot.
Keep the Ladder on Level Ground
Similar to the belt buckle rule, it is crucial to use your ladder only on level ground. If there is uneven ground, either use a leveler or find a way to make the ground level.
We hope that you find these tips helpful. Climb safe!
This year, OSHA decided to raise the fee on their fines. The fine amounts have not been adjusted for a number of years, and increasing the amounts will, hopefully, help people want to be safer. Fines often cost tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars when there is a violation, and can cost even more when that violation leads to an injury. This increase in potential costs is even more incentive to help you and your team want to be more careful.
The number one way to not get a violation and to avoid getting a fine is to make sure you and your team follow all the safety guidelines. When it comes to fall prevention and protection, OSHA has a number of guidelines. Here is a list of all their guidelines: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10839
Some of the guidelines include:
-Ladder weight limits and ratings
-Don’t connect ladders together to make them longer than they are supposed to be
-Ladder rungs should be parallel before climbing
-Maintain three points of contact
-Inspect the ladder
With the fee increase, now is as good a time as any to pay even better attention to make sure you and your team are being safe and are following OSHA’s guidelines.