Friday, March 17, 2017

March is Ladder Safety Month!

Are you putting your best foot forward? March 2017 is the first-ever National Ladder Safety Month! In the United States, more than 164,000 people are treated from ladder injuries in the emergency room and more than 300 die from falls from ladders. National Ladder Safety Month is the only movement dedicated exclusively to the promotion of ladder safety, at home and at work.

There are five major causes for ladder fall incidents:
  1. Incorrect extension ladder setup angle — In approximately 40% of cases, the leading cause of ladder-related injuries is a ladder sliding out at the base due to an incorrect setup angle. Ladder users tend to set extension ladders at shallower angles than the optimal desired angle (75 degrees).
  2. Inappropriate ladder selection — Selection of a ladder with the proper duty-rating is also important to avoid structural failure. However, many ladder users lack knowledge of proper ladder selection.
  3. Insufficient ladder inspection — You can reduce the likelihood of ladder structural failure by practicing regular inspection and maintenance.
  4. Improper ladder use — Activities such as overreaching, carrying objects, applying excessive force, slips, and missteps are also frequent causes of ladder-related fall injuries.
  5. Lack of access to ladder safety tools and information — Small companies that account for up to 80% of all construction companies, and individual ladder users, such as homeowners, do not typically receive the required training for safe use of portable ladders. Such ladder users are difficult to reach, often do not have access to safety information, and generally lack the resources to develop or follow an effective ladder safety program.
Picture taken from the OSHA Quick Card on
Portable Ladder Safety

Yes, there is an app for that!

Download NIOSH's free, award-winning Ladder Safety app from the Apple Store or Google Play to improve extension and step ladder safety with user-friendly guides and interactive tools to prevent ladder-related fall injuries and deaths.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on new OSHA requirements for fixed ladders. OSHA has revised its Walking-Working Surfaces & Fall Prevention requirements in 2017, creating new definitions, rules, and responsibilities for employers.

Submitted by: Julie Jelen, Loss Control Consultant