So exactly why is proper ladder use a hot topic? Because according to the CDC, among construction workers, an estimated 81% of fall injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments involve a ladder. Even through these accidents are extremely common, they are almost entirely preventable. Because ladders are such a simple tool, there is a danger of becoming complacent about ladder safety. To keep all workers safe, be sure everyone takes the following precautions.
- Choose the right ladder for the job. Consider how high you will have to reach, whether it will be used for an indoor or outdoor job, and how much weight it will need to hold. Never load ladders beyond their maximum capacity.
- Make sure it is in good working condition. Damaged ladders are extremely dangerous as they can easily break while being used and cause serious injuries. Every aspect of a ladder needs to be intact to prevent injury. Feel the rungs to make sure they are not loose in any way. If there are any signs of missing screws or other pieces, find another one to use.
- Place it on a firm, solid foundation. Ladders should always be placed on a firm level surface without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points. If there are doubts about whether a surface is safe, it shouldn’t be used.
- Pay attention to the angle at which it is placed. A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it’s resting on for every 4 feet of the ladder’s height.
- Check the surroundings. Ladders should not be used in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder. The door must be blocked, locked, or guarded. Also, do not use extension ladders in windy or inclement weather and do not use metal ladders within 10 feet of electricity.
- Climb with care.
- Wear sturdy, dry, slip resistant shoes.
- Keep your hips centered between the side rails.
- Do not lean away from the ladder or overreach.
- Always maintain three points of contact with the ladder – two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand.
- Do not stand higher than the third rung from the top.
- Never attempt to move a ladder while standing on it.
By renting ladders and other lift equipment from Northside Tool Rental, you can be certain it will always be clean, maintained, safe, and dependable. We can set you up with all the equipment you need for your next project. Call, text, or visit one of our five Atlanta locations to get started today!