Ladder Accident Knocks Out Musician’s Teeth

A Minnesota musician was injured in a ladder accident.  He was painting a house when he fell off the ladder, knocking out most of his top teeth.  The article is mostly about a benefit that was held to help cover his dental bills, and it doesn’t talk a lot about his accident.

When painting a house, here are a few safety reminders to prevent a ladder accident like this one.

  1. Move Your Ladder When Needed. Rather than leaning on the ladder, move your ladder to get closer to the job.
  2. Use scaffolding. If you will be working for a long time or will be moving from side to side, opt for scaffolding so you can stand long periods in one place or paint easily without having to move your ladder.
  3. Use the Right Ladder. One of the common mistakes on a ladder is not using a ladder that is tall enough. Instead of choosing a short ladder, make sure your ladder is tall enough for the room or building you are painting so you aren’t tempted to stand on the top rung or top cap.

Remember to work safely so you can return home to your family in one piece.

Climb on.

Property Developer and Ladder Accident

An Australian property developer was fined after a 16-year old boy fell off a ladder on a construction site. The teen was a part of a program to help at-risk teens by allowing them to work on construction sites. The young man fell through a void, falling to the concrete ground below. He injured his spine and broke his bones. He had been on the site for just two days before the fall, and he is considered lucky to be alive.

Unfortunately, there was no fall protection around the opening. which led to the young man falling once he got off the ladder. If the protection could have been in place, the fall would have easily been avoided.

WorkSafe ACT, the safety organization for Australia, investigated the accident. The investigation looked at induction, training, supervision, health and safety practices and fall protection. After the investigation, the organization decided the property developer did not do enough to prevent the accident.

“In addition, but to a lesser extent, there were also failures on behalf of the subcontractors on the site which are subject to the enforceable undertakings,” a spokesperson for the WorkSafe ACT said.

The property developer cooperated with the investigation and discontinued the program for at-risk teens due to the safety risks.

Thankfully, the teen has been able to recover from his injuries, but let this tragic accident be a reminder of the importance of being alert while on the ladder and of having proper fall protection in place. In addition, remember to train all your employees on the job site. If he had gotten the correct training, he may have been able to get off his ladder safely.

Our hearts go out to the teen and hope he has been able to make a full recovery.

The Leaning Ladder Trend

Since the introduction of the leaning ladder, this style of ladder has been popping up on job sites around the country. While some ladders are designed to be used in the leaning position, dangers arise when ordinary stepladders are used in that position.

So, what can be done to help ensure non-leaning ladders aren’t being used incorrectly?

  1. Train, train train. If a ladder designed to be used in the leaning position shows up on your job site, provide proper training to the team. Teach them the benefits of the leaning ladder, but also teach them that not all ladders are designed to be used as leaning ladders. In fact, leaning ladders have extra grip on the feet so that they won’t slide out, unlike ordinary stepladders.
  2. Develop a procedure for if an ordinary ladder is used in the leaning position. Make sure your team knows the consequences of using a ladder unsafely. Will there be write-ups? Will all leaning ladders be taken out of service? You want to make sure the consequence is fair, but also effective.
  3. Choose the best ladders. Whether this means replacing all ordinary ladders, with ladders designed to be used as leaning ladders, or whether it means just having quality ladders on the job site, make sure you always have the best ladders to help you climb safely.

6 Safety Tips for Working at Heights

Today we have another guest post from NATT Safety Services, an Ontario safety training company. They have an article with tips for working safely at height. Enjoy her tips!

Many jobs require you to work at heights, especially in the construction and mining industry. Working at heights can be dangerous and can cause a serious injury even if you fall from just a few feet.

Within the construction industry specifically, OSHA reports that close to 40 percent of all deaths in the workplace occurred due to falls. This number includes workers who have fallen off ladders, roofs, scaffolding, etc.

Falling from heights at your work site can cause permanent disabilities in addition to fatalities. You must take safety precautions to make sure that you are working in a safe environment. Here are six safety tips for working at heights.

1.      Use guardrails and fencing

When working on roofs or other areas with fall risks, you must use guardrails or fencing where ever you can to keep yourself and the workers under your supervision safe.

Guardrails and toe-boards should be used in accordance to worksite regulations. Railings are available in portable and permanently fixable options with different styles. In addition to the guardrails, adequate safety nets and harnesses need to be provided and used properly, with proper training provided to employees.

When working from elevated worksites, you need to ensure the safety not only of workers at the top of the worksite, but also workers underneath, who could potentially be hit by falling objects.

Remember that guardrails and fencing needs to be adequately labeled and signage used to ensure they are visually noticeable.


2.      Use Proper Equipment

The use of proper equipment is important for the safety of your workers. Ladders, for example, can often be used improperly and the wrong ladder chosen for the job, which can cause accidents.

Choosing the correct fall arrest equipment is extremely important in protecting workers from injuries. When a proper harness, connection, and anchor point is used, they form a Personal Fall Arrest System that is vitally important for safety on the job site. Determining these correctly requires proper safety training which can be provided by a CPO-Approved Working at Heights training provider.


3.      Inspect your Personal Protection Equipment

You can get all the necessary safety equipment and put it on but if you are not inspecting it before use it is highly likely that it can fail at any time. The harness and lanyards need periodic inspection by an expert as well as by the user before they put it on regularly. For this you must have the knowledge of what you are looking for and what to do when you find a fault.

In addition to checking your PPE equipment, checking ladders, scaffolding, fencing, etc. regularly is important.


4.      Choose the Best Solution

Evaluate your worksite situation and choose the best means of working at heights. Each job is different; some may require you to work on a lift, some on scaffolding and some may require working up on a ladder.

The PPE you choose to have on must be according to the platform you are on. Choosing the proper ladder for the specific job is important. Make sure that you are customizing your safety solution to your specific job site and job.


5.      Use Ladders Properly

Just because you have a ladder at home that you use to make fixes around the house or to put up the Christmas lights does not mean you know how to use it properly. Many workplace accidents happen due to improper use of ladders.

There are different aspects of ladder safety to take into consideration or make sure you are educated about. Use our ladder inspection checklist to ensure you are using your ladders safely and properly.

6.      Education and Training

Make sure you regularly complete the safety training sessions and classes provided by your employer to be able to handle emergency situations. If you are a new recruit, have more experienced workers walk you through the safety measures. Supervisors and employers will also need to ensure their employees are adequately trained for the job at hand.

Don’t underestimate the risks of working at heights and make sure that you are doing what it takes to be safe.

Watch Your Step: How to Prevent Falls in Construction Sites

Today, we have a guest post from Meghan Belnap. She is a freelance writer and today she has an article about construction site falls. 
If you are a construction site manager, then the safety of your employees is your number one priority. After all, a fall or injury could set you back significantly in the project, costing you a lot of wasted time and money. That is not to mention the fact that you want the wellbeing of your workers to be at the top of your list. However, this requires a good strategy from the start of construction. Here are four ways to mitigate fall and slippage risks in your work zone.

Maintain Your Harnesses
From tower climbers to roofers, to anyone required to climb and work at height, harnesses are a must. Not only are they required by OSHA, but they help workers get the job done more quickly. They don’t have to worry about falling, so they can move at a quicker pace and focus more on the job at hand. Invest in quality harnesses for all relevant projects so that you never have to bear the tragedy of a crew member falling from a great height.

Invest in Your Scaffolding
The scaffolding you use has a major effect on the overall safety of the crew, and in preventing costly mistakes that cause injuries, work lawsuits, and delays. We talk about ladders from Little Giant, but Little Giant doesn’t sell scaffolding.  If scaffolding will work best for your job, choose a local, professional scaffolding service. Savage Scaffold & Equipment Co. is a company based in Utah and Idaho that provides scaffolding. They recommend using a solid structure that you know will be safe for both those working on the scaffolding itself, as well as those working underneath. Always err on the side of safety and get only the highest quality material for the job.

Marking Hazards and Safe Zones
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in the construction industry is not properly marking dangerous areas. Even if they see the large hole or trench coming and don’t fall in, they may not see it until they’re close enough to be inconvenienced by the detour, slowing them down significantly. Everyone on a construction site needs to know where the holes are, the electrical hazards, and the height risks. Mark these with orange cones, security tape, and signs so that everyone can not only avoid hazards but avoid them in advance. When you mark clear safe zones, your employees will know where to go and be able to direct themselves accordingly.

Cleaning Materials and Litter
Far too many job sites are littered with debris from construction and litter from the workers themselves. This can cause fall risks from tripping over larger objects or slipping on smaller ones. That would be dangerous in any environment, but it is especially so when working around hazardous materials and treacherous terrain. Sharp materials can also pose a hazard by piercing boots and tires, not to mention feet. Have designated places to store excess material, ensure that waste bins are provided, and consider setting aside a cleaning hour for a designated crew to come and clean, or else for your crew members to clean up after themselves.

When it comes to construction, safety must always be a priority. It has never been more important to protect the health of your workers and your bottom line. Do not let yourself become responsible for preventable accidents and injuries.

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