Fall Protection on a Construction Site

Sumo Construction Roof_1Construction sites are full of fall hazards. As soon as the hole in the ground is dug, the hazard is there. Falls are the number one cause of death on construction sites, so what sorts of precautions should be taken to decrease these accidents?

Practice Ladder Safety

Ladders should be used properly to prevent the falls.  For extension ladders, extend the ladder four feet above the level being climbed to, have  a 4:1 ratio, secure the ladder near the top, maintain three points of contact as you climb/descend, and keep your center of gravity between the side rails.  Also, set up the ladder on a level, sturdy surface.

Be Careful on the Roof

Roof installation is some of the more dangerous work you can do. You’re at the top of the building, and you need to follow all the fall protection protocol. When appropriate, use warning line and monitor systems.  If you use a ladder instead of scaffolding, make sure to always extend the ladder three feet above the roofline and find ways to make the transition point safer.

Follow Tie-off Rules

Another important fall prevention tip is to follow tie-off rules. Make sure you are secured to a solid anchoir point and that your tie-off rope and harness are in good shape.

Hopefully these tips will help those of you working in the construction industry to climb safer. What other tips have you found?

Scared of ladders? Here are some tips to get over it

With the fear of heights being the third most common phobia, it is no wonder so many people are afraid of climbing ladders. While this fear is common, there are a few ways to get over the fear.

Be safe while on the ladder. 

This tip is fairly obvious, but still important. The best way to not only be safe, but also help you get over your fear, is to follow the safety guidelines. Doing this will prevent a fall from happening, helping you have no reason to worry.

Double up

If  you are still nervous, you can double up on safety protocol. Many industries require to be tied off when climbing a ladder, but, even if your industry does not require it, you can still double up, especially if it will make you feel safer.

Find the Trigger

Every person has the height that makes them nervous. For some, it is 3 feet off the ground, for others it might be 10 feet off the ground. If your job requires you to work higher than you would normally feel comfortable, there is a way to overcome the discomfort when you have a little bit of time.

Practice Makes Perfect

Experts recommend going to the height you first start feeling uncomfortable, and then sit there for a few minutes. Find ways to not think about the height. They reccommend you stay at that height until you either feel comfortable or can no longer stand it. If you feel comfortable, continue climbing higher. If you cannot stand it, get off the ladder and take a break. The next time you try, stay on the ladder longer. Make sure to have a friend or coworker spot you during the exercise. While doing this, make sure to follow all ladder safety and fall protection protocol.

Have you found ways to help you get over a fear of heights and ladders? Feel free to share them!



Extension Ladder Safety

Today, let’s focus on safety tips for being safe on extension ladders. The following are some tips for being safe on your extension ladder.

  1. Always inspect the ladder before climbing. Check for any defect including missing rungs, bolts, feet, or anthing that is loose. If there is anything defective about the ladder, take it out of service immediately and mark it with a “Do Not Use” sign.
  2. Keep the area around the top of the ladder and the area around the bottom of the ladder cleanand clear of equipment, materials and tools.
  3. Set the ladder at the correct angle, a 75.5 degree angle. Also, make sure the ladder extends three feet above the work surface.
  4. Always look for potential hazrds, like overhead power lines.
  5. Set the base of the ladder
  6. Always maintain three points of contact, meaning always have two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand on the ladder.
  7.  Face the ladder when climbing up or descending and always stay inside the side rails.
  8. Be extra careful when getting on or off the ladder at the top or bottom. Never lean to the side while climbing or standing on the ladder.
  9. Remember to carry tools in a tool belt or raise tools up using a hand line. Never carry tools in your hands while climbing up/down a ladder.
  10. Keep ladders free of any slippery materials.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you use an extension ladder. Feel free to use this blog post to educate your team on extension ladder safety.

Firefighter Ladder Safety

Overhaul-Bunker-Boots-e1452269862561We spend a lot of time talking about general ladder safety and ladder safety for specific industries, but one industry we haven’t talked about is the  fire industry. Today, let’s talk about a few ladder safety tips for firefighters.

Weight Rating

Every ladder has a weight rating, and with all the firefighter equipment, you want to make sure to be under the weight rating. Always check the weight of yourself and your equipment before climbing. If you are over the weight rating, either make sure you get a ladder with a higher weight rating or find a way to decrease the amount of equipment you have.

Level Surface

Another common issue for firemen is  working on an unlevel surface. Before setting up the ladder, make sure the ground is level or that you use a ladder leveler.

Be Aware of Ladder Weight

One of the major issues with ladders and firefighters is the weight of the ladders. Ladders, especially the ladders used by firemen, can be incredibly heavy. With too much weight, the ladders can end up causing strains and sprains. Either choose a lighter ladder or find a fellow worker to help you carry the ladder.

We hope these tips will help our firefighters climb a little safer. Do you have any tips to help firefighters be safer?


Power Line Safety

3933241_GWorking on power lines is its own animal when it comes to ladder safety. Here are a few reminders for those of you working in the cable/telecom industry.

Use Fiberglass

Whenever you are working around power lines, make sure to use fiberglass ladders. Even if you don’t think you’ll be coming in contact with electricity, still choose fiberglass over aluminum.

Stay Within the Rails

Whenever climbing the ladder, make sure to stay within the rails. Especially when working on the tall power lines, just a little movement at the top of the ladder can lead to a catastrophic fall.

Check the Ladder Feet

Before climbing, make sure to always check the ladder’s feet and make sure they are in good condition. When the ladder is leaning against a telephone pole, it could easily slip down if the ladder feet are too worn. This is why it’s so important to check the ladder feet before you climb.

What are other ladder safety tips you you have for those work in the cable and telecom industry?

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