March is National Ladder Safety Month. Ladders are an important tool used by individuals and workers every day. However, if a ladder is damaged or is used incorrectly, someone could fall, resulting in serious injury or death. Ladders are common everyday tools that many take for granted. It is estimated in the United States more than 500,000 people are treated each year from ladder-related injuries. Plus, the estimated annual cost of ladder injuries in the United States is a staggering $24 billion, including work loss, medical, legal, liability, and pain and suffering expenses. You can avoid a ladder injury if you think before you act and use ladders correctly.
When choosing a ladder there are several important factors to consider:
- Will the ladder be resting on an uneven surface?
- Is the work area crowded with people and/or materials?
- What obstructions are in the path of the climb?
- Your Weight; plus the weight of your clothing protective equipment and your tools or supplies
- Make a thorough inspection when the ladder is initially purchased and each time it is placed into service
What can a business do to help protect its workers from ladder-related falls?
Utica National has many resources available to assist with safe ladder use:
• Toolbox Talk: Extension Ladder Safety Extension Ladder Safety
• Toolbox Talk: Step Ladder Safety Step Ladder Safety
• Toolbox Talk: Slips, Trips and Falls Slips, Trips and Falls
Plus, governmental resources include:
• OSHA Construction Standard – Ladders OSHA Construction Standard – Ladders
• OSHA Extension Ladder Fact Sheet OSHA Extension Ladder Fact Sheet
• OSHA Stepladder Fact Sheet OSHA Stepladder Fact Sheet
• NIOSH Ladder Safety App NIOSH Ladder Safety App
Ladders are tools. As noted above many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of a ladder.
This information is provided solely as an insurance risk management tool. It is provided with the understanding that we are not providing legal advice, or any other professional services or advice. We shall have no liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the use of this information. You are encouraged to consult an attorney or other professional for advice on these issues.