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Preparing for 2019

At the end of every year, I like to take a few minutes to reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming year.

This year, I had the opportunity to speak at numerous companies, providing ladder safety training to employees. I also had the opportunity to speak at a couple of safety conferences. I had articles published in magazines. My goal is to help other people return home safely to their families.

Did you accomplish your safety goals? I sure hope so.

In 2019, I plan to continue what I’ve worked on the last couple of years. I plan to speak at a few more conferences and have a few more articles published. I plan to continue traveling to companies, helping train their employees. I want to help more people get home safely each day.

What are your safety plans for 2019?

Stay Safe

holiday safetyHopefully, you were able to put up your Christmas decorations safely and you can now enjoy the Christmas season with your family. This week, as you spend time with your family, remember the importance of safety, so you have more time to spend with those you love doing the things you enjoy most.

Once the holidays wind down and you begin putting away the decoration, remember to practice ladder safety once again.

  1. Stay between the rails
  2. Use an adjustable ladder if necessary
  3. Choose a ladder that is tall enough for the job


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.
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