Category: Ladder Safety (page 3 of 86)

How to Develop an Effective Safety Program for Your Company

Today we have a guest post from Jordan McDowell, a writer and content strategist. He specializes in technically-oriented B2B and B2C content for digital companies. Today, his post is on developing a safety program for your company.

Developing a program to ensure employee safety isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s the law. It starts with a commitment to safety and the willingness to be thorough in evaluating – and resolving – potential workplace hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSHA, was passed in 1970 to provide just that – a safe and healthy working environment for employees with established protocol and policies to keep workers safe. Obviously, potential hazards differ greatly by profession and OSHA regulations differ by industry.

For our purposes, there are about four to five main tenets of a solid workplace safety policy: identifying workplace hazards and risks, educating employees (e.g. safety training), developing written policies and implementing them, reporting any and all incidents, and continuing to evaluate processes year-round.

Worksite Evaluation

Safety begins with a thorough inspection of your company’s premises. Anticipating dangers allows you to prevent them, so a comprehensive walkthrough and survey of your company’s worksite for potential safety violations (e.g. machinery, paint fumes, dust particles) is essential. Effective engineering and design should prevent issues, but once identified, possible hazards should be eliminated and a procedure established to address them.

Talking to employees and understanding some of the day-to-day safety hazards they’re facing is also key as they often notice things that are not obvious to their managers. Worksite inspections should be routine and conducted regularly to quickly identify and resolve issues.

Policy Development and Implementation

You (as a manager) are responsible for establishing a streamlined safety process for your employees. Safety procedures and ways to avoid injury should be written down and communicated clearly. For obvious reasons, written policies and procedures are crucial. Materials can be distributed quickly for employee education, thus avoiding the potential for any ambivalence or miscommunication about job duties and/or safety procedures.

There are a number of safety procedures for injury prevention that should be documented, including:

  • Avoidance of potential respiratory hazards and protective equipment
  • Avoidance of environmental hazards
  • Fire prevention
  • Emergency planning
  • Ear protection
  • Equipment safety
  • And of course, ladder safety.

Employee Education and Training

Once safety guidelines are written down and established, education and employee training should be implemented as soon as possible. Lack of knowledge is a big reason why accidents happen, so quick, effective training is key.

OSHA requires that all employees, especially new ones, are trained on all health and safety aspects of their jobs. New employees should be trained immediately, and all employees should be trained or re-trained as soon as potential safety hazards are discovered and documented.

At least once a year, all employees should undergo safety training and take a refresher course on basic procedure. As an example, when it comes to ladder safety, Ladder Safety Hub provides an excellent ladder safety checklist with important reminders:

  • Ladders should always remain free of slipping hazards like oil and grease
  • They should never be overloaded beyond their labeled capacity
  • Ladders should only be used on stable, level surfaces
  • Face the ladder when moving up or down to prevent falls
  • Make sure ladders have slip-resistant surfaces
  • Store ladders in safe areas away from people and/or traffic

Incident Reporting

One of the best ways to ensure employee safety is to continuously report incidents, no matter how small they might seem. Any incident should be reported immediately to ensure facts remain fresh in an employee’s mind, a cause is identified and a corrective procedure put in place.

Constant Evaluation and Goal-Setting

As mentioned above, constant evaluation of a worksite and identification of potential hazards is the key to keeping employees safe. Annual safety training should be a rule, not an exception. Goals should be set annually to surpass the previous year’s safety evaluation; this is done through thorough training and employee education.



Ladder Disposal

What happens when your ladder is damaged and irreparable? The short answer is, the ladder needs to be destroyed.

How does one destroy a ladder?

The short answer is that you destroy a ladder by making it unclimbable. You cut apart the ladder so nobody can use it. Beware of simply throwing the ladder in a dumpster since someone may dig it our if the ladder seems still usable. Then, if they get hurt on the ladder (which they very well could, since the ladder is in bad shape!), you, the business owner and owner of the ladder is liable for the injuries.

Make sure you always destroy irreplaceable ladders completely so nobody can climb them.

Ladder Inspection

Ladder Safety Month’s focus this month is ladder inspection. We talk about ladder inspection a lot on this blog, but that’s because inspecting your ladder can help in preventing a ladder accident. If an inspection is done right, you can catch issues with the ladder that would potentially lead to an accident.

Here are a couple of things to remember during an inspection:

-Look over all parts of the ladder, the rungs the rails for feet and look for any damage

-For extension ladders, inspect the rope, pulley and locks

-For stepladders, examine the spreader bars

-Check all metal parts of the ladder for any rust issues

-Make sure the ladder is wiped down and clear of any grease or other residues

These are just a couple of reminders. Make sure to use an inspection checklist to help you do the most thorough inspection. If your ladder fails, take it out of service until the ladder is repaired. If the ladder cannot be repaired, destroy the ladder so nobody can use it unsafely.

If you’re looking for tips on how to do a ladder inspection, visit the ladder safety toolbox, and you can download the Ladder Inspection Checklist.

Ladder Safety Poster

L0026442 A man carrying a ladder knocks the forward end of it accident
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
A man carrying a ladder knocks the forward end of it accidentally into the eye of a man coming round the corner towards him. Colour lithograph.
Coloured Lithograph
Published: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0


I stumbled on this poster and wanted to make sure I shared it. It’s an old poster, but the message is still relevant. When transporting a ladder, always be aware of blind corners and proceed with caution!

Ladder Safety at Home

Ladder safety at home is the ALI’s theme for this week. Most everyone has at least one use for a ladder. A few years ago, Nationwide Insurance put together a great blog post with ladder safety tips for homeowners. We’ll go through their tips today.

  1. Read the safety label. The label will give you important safety information, including the weight limit and important safety information. Reading the label can help prevent an accident.
  2.  Chose a tall enough ladder. If the ladder is not tall enough for the job, you are setting yourself up for failure. If you are accessing a roof with too short of a ladder, you could end up in a serious accident as you try to get off the ladder. Make sure your ladder extends three feet past the access point.
  3. Never lean on the ladder. Always keep your body between the rails of the ladder to prevent your ladder from tipping.
  4. Use the ladder for its intended use. Ladders are designed for a specific purpose. If you start using them for unintended purposes, like bridge or scaffolding, or using parts of the ladder wrong, like standing on the top cap or leaning a stepladder (not a leaning ladder) against a wall, your ladder could fail, resulting in a ladder accident and possible injury for you.
  5. Use your ladder on a firm, level surface. If the ground is unlevel, use a ladder with levelers to prevent the ladder from tipping.
  6. Be alert when moving your ladder. Ladders can be a little bulky to move around, so always plan your route and be aware of your surroundings before you move your ladder so you don’t bump into any wires, cars or other objects.

What do you think of this list? Are there any safety tips you would add for the homeowner?


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