Author: Dave (page 1 of 64)

Training from the ALI

downloadDid you know the American Ladder Institute has free ladder safety training?

Just visit their website and make an account. Then, they have training videos for almost every type of ladder with information specifically for that type of ladder. At the end of the video, there is a short quiz. Once you reach mastery, you get a certificate certifying that you have been trained. If you are feeling competitive, you can try to score well enough to get your score on the “high scores” section.

Here is a description of the training from the website:

“Free ladder safety training for selection, care and safe use of all ladders, including stepladders, single and extension ladders, articulated ladders, and mobile ladders. Provided by the American Ladder Institute, these sessions outline safe ladder practices in all applications, such as construction/painting, building and custodial services, warehousing, power, manufacturing, chemical and petrochemical, oil and gas, and at home.”

As you can see, the training is rather comprehensive. The best part about the training is that you can have your team members set up accounts and get trained too.

The website also gives you access to other training resources like printed ladder standards from ANSI and access to a ladder training DVD.

Common Causes of Ladder Accidents

laddersdamagedAccording to the research I’ve done, there are six main causes of ladder accidents. Here they are:

  • Poor placement – Make sure you choose the right place to set up your ladder. If the ladder is sloping or uneven,  it could lead to a major accident. An inch at the base of the ladder could become a huge issue the further the ladder is from the ground.
  • Reaching past the center of gravity– A common tendency when on the ladder is to lean to one side instead of moving the ladder.
  • Missing the last rung – While climbing down the ladder, many people miss the last rung which leads to knee and ankle injuries.
  • Slip-out – Always make sure the ladder feet are in good shape and that you have the ladder extended three feet past the roof line.
  • Remounting Ladder – The transition point is tricky and often leads to some of the most serious injuries.  Often, professionals will step on the rung above the gutter line, which causes the base of the ladder to move.  Putting more weight on one side of the ladder can also cause issues.
  • Carrying or raising the ladder – Strains and sprains are the result of carrying or raising a ladder improperly. The taller the ladder, the more likely this is to happen.

Reducing Risks

Prevent ladder accidents by taking the right precautions.

  • Maintenance: Always maintain your ladder. Do thorough inspections and take care of any issues right away. Keep your ladder clean, and store it inside if possible.
  • Do your homework: When you arrive on the work site, walk around the entire site and choose the best place to set up your ladder.
  • Level your ladder: Whenever possible, set your ladder on a level surface. If this is not possible, use the manufacturer’s leg levelers. If this option isn’t available, dig out one side to make the two sides level.
  • Traction is everything: Choose the right surface for your ladder. Composite decks, painted concrete or snow-covered surfaces are slippery. You might consider carrying a rubber mat to put under your ladder when you have to work on these surfaces.
  • Check and double-check: Before you climb, always take a step back and re-check everything. Check the angle, the locks and the feet. Every now and again, I will catch something I missed, something that could have led to an accident.
  • Keep centered: Always stay in the middle of the ladder and don’t lean to one side. It is easy to do, but fight the temptation!

It is your responsibility to be safe on your ladder and to help others be safe too.

Ladders & Electrical Contractors

dark horse staircasesWhy is is that ladders can be so dangerous? Is it that we are so familiar with them? Or that people continue to use them unsafely? The answer is a little bit of both. For electrical contractors, ladders are actually the number seven most frequently violated standards.

Electrical contractors are either killed or injured while using ladders each year.

Three of the most common causes for ladder accidents are:

1. Ladders In Poor Condition

2. Improper Selection

3. Improper Use

Here are some tips to prevent these types of accidents:

The first step to choose the right ladder for the job. Familiarize yourself with the different types of ladders.  Choose the ladder that will help you get your job done quickly and safely.

Stepstools have flat steps and a platform top. Stepstools are not adjustable. They fold up for storage and can support a worker on all the steps, when set up properly. Examples of stepstools include the Little Giant Safety Step and the Little Giant Flip-N-Lite.

Stepladders are the most common type of ladder. Stepladders have flat steps and a hinged back to the ladder can fold up easily. When using a stepladder, make sure not to stand on the top rung or the top cap.

Extension ladders have two or more sections of ladder that allow the ladder to be adjusted. Extension ladders cannot self-support. They are leaned against a building or other structure for support.

One you choose the kind of ladder you need, the  next step is to choose the material. Ladders are made with wood, aluminum and fiberglass. Aluminum ladders are the most popular, but working in the electrical industry, make sure your ladder is fiberglass. Working near exposed electrical lines can cause electrocution.

When choosing your ladder, be aware of the weight rating. Factor in the weight of the worker and the worker’s tools when choosing the correct ladder.

Once you choose the ladder, make sure you do a thorough inspection. Check the ladder for sharp edges. You also want to make sure the feet are in good shape and that the ladder does not have any structural damage. Check the ladder’s hardware and make sure it is in good shape. The ropes, spreaders, nuts and bolts should all be checked.

If the ladder fails the inspection, mark it as dangerous and take it out of service. Either destroy the ladder or repair it and return it to service.

The final step to being safe on the ladder is  to climb it safely. Maintain three points of contact and never lean while on the ladder. Instead stay between the rungs.

Hopefully these tips help you be safe!

Workplace Ladder Safety

701f272289c9038f5a84c41cffa43650 (1)Are you required to use a ladder at work? If you are, here are a few tips

Use the correct ladder

When choosing your ladder, make sure to choose the right one for the job. Make sure your ladder is tall enough to reach what you are working on. If your work is inside, a small stepladder may do the job. If you are outside, you may need a taller stepladder or extension ladder.

Know Your Duty Ratings

-IAA Extra Heavy Duty 375 lbs. maximum
-IA Industrial extra heavy 300 lbs. maximum
-I Industrial heavy 250 lbs. maximum
-II Commercial medium 225 lbs. maximum
-III Household light 200 lbs. maximum

Inspect the ladder

Before climbing the ladder, make sure it is in good shape. If the ladder is damaged, bent or broken, take it out of service and either destroy it or repair it. In your inspection, make sure the ladder is also free of snow, oil, mud, grease or other slippery substances.

While moving the ladder

When carrying an extension ladder, carry it parallel to the ground and hold it in the middle of the rail to help you better balance the ladder. If the ladder is on the taller side, ask someone to help you move it. If you are moving a stepladder, always move it while it is in the closed position.

Setting up the ladder

Always be aware of your surroundings before you climb your ladder. Make sure your ladder will not hit any electrical wires or tree limbs. Make sure your ladder is on firm, level ground and that the ladder is at the correct angle.

Here are some ladder height recommendations:

16 ft. ladder 13 ft. maximum work height
24 ft. ladder 21 ft. maximum work height
28 ft. ladder 24 ft. maximum work height
32 ft. ladder 29 ft. maximum work height
36 ft. ladder
32 ft. maximum work height

Using Your Ladder

If using a stepladder, make sure it is open and that the spreader bars are locked. Don’t put the ladder on other ladders or boxes or any other uneven surface. Make sure the soles of your shoes are clean and that they can grip. Avoid using shoes as with leather soles. Never stand on the top rung or top cap.

If you are using an extension ladder, make sure your ladder extends three feet above the roof line and that you don’t climb on the top three rungs.

Always face the ladder while you climb. Also, stay in the center of the rails. Hold both rails and maintain the three points of contact rule. Be aware of the ladder’s weight rating. If the weather is bad or you don’t feel well, save your ladder project for another day.

Importance of Job Site Safety

Even though falls are one of the leading causes of injuries, many people forget that ladders can be hazardous and that workers should be trained before they use the ladder.

Building a safety culture is one of the best ways to help your workers be safer and to address specific safety concerns like ladder safety, for example. Here are a couple steps to help your workers stay safe.

Keeping this in mind and following some simple steps, can help you and your workers stay safe and injury-free.

Climbing Pre-Check

Before using your ladder, make sure it’s in good condition and that the ladder is on a firm, level surface. You also want to check the ladder’s height to make sure it is tall enough for the job. You also want to check the weight/duty rating to make sure it is sturdy enough to hold the worker and any materials needed for the job.

Choose the Safest Alternative

Make sure you always choose the best tool for the job. Sometimes, a stepladder is the best option. Other times scaffolding or platform ladder could be a better option for the job at hand.


For example, platform ladders, stationary or rolling scaffolding, boom or scissor lifts, or other work platforms.

Follow safe work procedures

Whether you use a stepladder or a safer alternative, follow safe work procedures every time. Setting up a stepladder incorrectly puts you and other workers at risk of serious injury.

Follow safety guidelines

Whenever you use a ladder, make sure you use it the right way:

-Maintain three points of contact

-Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions

-Never stand on the top rung or top cap

Building a Safety Culture


Here are u couple tips to help you have a safety culture at your company:

-Have the entire company from the top down involved in being safe

-Have your safety program accessible to everyone on site

-Plan and participate in safety meetings

-Address safety concerns


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