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?

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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?

How to Kill Yourself

fail friday photo editionWe talk so often about what not to do while on a ladder. Instead, let’s talk today about how to get yourself killed while on a ladder.

  1. Climb an old, rickety ladder.
  2. Make sure to climb on the top cap and lean to get the job done.
  3. Don’t inspect the ladder before you climb.
  4. Put the ladder on uneven, soft ground.
  5. Climb a ladder with worn feet and treads.
  6. If the ground is unlevel, build up the side with blocks or wood.

How do these tips sound to you? The truth is, if you do these things, you are almost guaranteed to have a ladder accident. Do not do these things. Instead, choose to follow the safety tips we include in our other posts.

Are All Ladder Hazards Created Equal?

IMG_1625_1When enforcing ladder safety, it is important to assess the various risk levels and then develop training for them. For example are the risks at the top of a 25 foot extension ladder the same as the risks at the top of a four-foot stepladder? While both have risks, the obvious answer is no, the risks are not the same.

One idea for a good ladder safety training would be to address the various risk levels and how to make them safer.  You could also talk about what makes the various degrees of danger.

Less Severe Risks

Ladders like the Aerial Safety Cage and smaller stepladders do have risks. You can talk about ways to minimize these risks. For example, you can talk about safety tips for any ladder –  Inspect the ladder. Follow the belt buckle rule. Don’t lean.

With a taller ladder comes greater risk. When doing a training for the taller ladders, you can focus on a few more specific details of training. For example, on an extension ladder, if the bottom of the ladder moves just one inch, the top of the ladder will move four inches! That is an important thing to remember when climbing, and could be a good illustration of the importance of ladder safety.

These are just a couple of things to keep in mind when training your team about the various ladder safety risks. What other tips do you have?

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