Category: Safety (page 2 of 3)

Ladder Inspection & More

Weld InspectionThis week, I ran across a blog post from Culture of Safety. The article talks about how a single crack on one of the ladder rungs led to a woman falling as she hung Christmas decorations. She ended up passing away from her injuries. If she had done an inspection on the ladder before climbing, she would have noticed the crack and probably wouldn’t have climbed up.

After talking about the importance of a ladder inspection, the article goes on to discuss ladder injury statistics. According to the article, more than 90,000 people receive emergency room treatment. Elevated falls account for 15% of all occupational deaths. Over the last ten years, the number of ladder-related injuries has increased by 50 percent. These statistics reiterate the importance of proper ladder training. The article goes on to talk about the main types of ladder accidents: selecting the wrong type of ladder, using worn or damaged ladders, using ladders incorrectly and placing ladders incorrectly.

One of the most interesting parts from the article, however, was not the article itself. The comments found below the article were both interesting and heart-breaking.

“Unfortunately my ladder slipped out from under me, and I dislocated my foot and broke my ankle. I consider myself very lucky. I couldn’t believe how fast the bottom slipped out and away….no time to react.”

‘Yep, it really hurts when a step breaks and you are hanging tangled in a broken ladder.”

“My friend fell from a two step ladder and died. Very sad.”

“Great article! Sadly, it is not only do-it-yourselfers who require education about ladder safety—– there are many contractors out there.”

As you can see, plenty of people have experienced a ladder accident or know someone who has.

This article had many great reminders. First, remember to inspect your ladder. Second, be aware of ladder statistics and getting properly trained. Third, almost everyone has a story of a ladder accident.

Even Secret Servicemen Can’t Escape Ladders

secret-service-logoI was just doing my daily news reading, when I came across an article about a Secret Servicemen getting injured from a fall from a ladder.

Like many of the other articles I run across, this article didn’t have much detail. In a nutshell, here’s what the article said:

One of President Obama’s Secret Servicemen was stationed at LAX Airport waiting for President Obama’s arrival, when the man fell from a ladder while trying to descend the building. The man is being treated for non life-threatening injuries in Los Angeles.

Apparently, even if your job is to protect the president, you are not immune to ladder-related injuries.

Just like it’s important for contractors to train and be trained, it is important to make sure those who work for the government are trained for proper ladder use as well.

We don’t know the type of ladder the man was descending, but we do know it was on the outside of a building. So, most likely it was either the cheese grater type or an extension ladder. If it was the cheese grater, all he had to do was lose his footing, and he would have bounced back and forth between the rails until he hit the bottom. For the extension ladder, there are a variety of things that could have gone wrong as well. Luckily, whatever happened wasn’t too serious since he is only being treated for minor injuries.

Grandpa’s Ladder

Grandpa's ladderI often like to talk about the idea of “Grandpa’s Ladder.” Grandpa’s ladder is that old, rickety, wooden ladder you remember seeing your grandpa’s garage. Grandpa’s ladder has been around for a long time with no changes made to its design. The truth is, grandpa’s ladder is not safe. It wasn’t safe when it was first designed hundreds of years ago, and it is not safe now.

The alternative to Grandpa’s Ladder

More changes have been made to the ladder in the last few years than were made in the previous five hundred years. How crazy is that?

Here are some of the changes made by Little Giant Ladder Systems:

-Ratchet Levelers
-Rock Locks
-Articulating ladder
-Lightest weight while still being sturdy
-work platform
-adjustable legs
-Adjustable outriggers to prevent tipping
-The Cage, eliminating the need to tie off
-The Claw
-The WalkThrough
The LedgeLock

All of these great adjustments to the ladder mean the use for grandpa’s ladder is non-existent. If you still find yourself going after that old ladder in your garage or shed, make sure to ask yourself, “Why? Is my life worth it?”

After a workplace fall

topstep3What happens after a workplace fall?

Every now and again, it’s good to have a reminder of why we want to help our team be safe. Regardless of how much training we do, sometimes workers still get injured, but it is much easier to prevent an injury.

Take care of the employee

Provide necessary first-aid. If it’s an emergency, get the worker to the hospital. Calm the worker down if shaken from the accident. Make sure you get his story of what happened to cause the accident.

Complete necessary paperwork

As you know, any onsite injury requires paperwork. Fill out the incident report with details from the accident. Complete your portion of the Worker’s Comp paperwork, especially if you can tell the injury is severe enough the employee will be missing work.

Stay on Top of It

When you have an injured employee, you want to make sure you keep track of where the claim is at. Sometimes the claim gets lost or ignored for a period of time, so you want to make sure you are paying attention to the claim’s status. Often, the claims step is the most time consuming and can take good amount of babysitting.

Help Your Employee Come Back to Work

Once the employee has healed, he or she will be returning to work and may need your help. Help him or her ease back into working life as seamlessly as possible.

This entire process can become incredibly time consuming. Luckily, you can be spared with the proper training and equipment. If you take a few minutes now to plan and train, the chance of your employee decreases significantly,

Scaffolding Safety

scaffolding accidentThis week, I read an article about a tragic scaffolding accident. The article talks about builders who were working on a movie set, but who fell when the scaffolding collapsed. The scaffolding accident resulted in two workers getting injured and one worker dying.

How could this accident have been prevented?

Make sure you choose the right type of scaffolding for the job. You can create scaffolding with the Little Giant Plank and your Little Giant articulating ladder. Or, you can make a suspended scaffold with cable and rope or system scaffold like the ones you see in building construction. Depending on the job will depend on the best scaffolding option.

Keep Weight in Mind

If you put too much weight on your scaffolding system, the system will fail and anyone on the scaffolding will get injured. Make sure you check to see how much weight the system can hold and factor in the weight of equipment when determining how many people the scaffolding can hold.

Make Sure the Ground is Solid

When setting up scaffolding, make sure the ground is not soft or uneven. If it is, the scaffolding system will sink, making the area workers are standing on uneven. This unevenness could cause a terrible accident for the workers, since it will be difficult to stand if the scaffolding begins to tip.

Beware of Electricity Risks

Unless our entire system is made of fiberglass (and even then), make sure to steer clear of any power lines or anything else that conducts electricity.

Make Sure Everything is Secured

If you are using a planking system with your ladder, make sure the plank is secure so it will not slide off the ladder rungs. Having the standing platform fall while people are standing on it is a sure way to cause a major injury, so always make sure your platform or plank has been connected properly.

Keep these tips in mind when you set up scaffolding, especially if you are using a ladder to do it.

 

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