An estimated 65% of workers in the construction sector perform daily tasks on scaffolding or ladders. Approximately 15% of all construction accident fatalities and at least 20,000 injuries per year are caused by falls from this equipment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 80% of fall injuries by construction workers that result in a visit to the emergency department used a ladder. Injuries include fractured bones and fractures, back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis are usually the outcomes of accidents involving ladders and scaffolding. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) lists some of the most frequent causes of the ladder- and scaffolding-related accidents as follows:
Defects on the ladder
Excess equipment weight burden
Lack of proper ladder or scaffold security
Faulty design or faulty materials
Lack of adequate safety equipment such as guardrails or harnesses
Insufficiently qualified supervision
We have some tips on how to minimize injuries and some procedures to follow to ensure a safe environment!
Train staff members on safe ladder use.
Make sure every employee has a clean pair of slip-resistant shoes.
Before using any ladder, check to be sure it is in excellent working condition.
Ladders with broken or loose sections should not be used. A swaying or leaning ladder has to be fixed or replaced.
Choose a ladder that is the appropriate size and weight for the job.
Place a ladder that is currently in use on a solid, level surface that is free of any slick areas at the base or top support points.
Keep three points of contact (either two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand) at all times when ascending a ladder. Once a worker has finished climbing, tools and supplies should be carried on a tool belt or dragged up by rope.