Any work related to height access is dangerous. Be it window cleaning, construction or roof repair, the chances of injuries are high, especially if you avoid using special equipment. Ladders are highly common tools in households. Many companies tend to use them as well. It may seem easier and cheaper to use a ladder rather than opt for ropes, scaffolding or aerial platforms, especially when the heights aren’t substantial. However, it’s worth noting than more than 90,000 people every year end up in emergency rooms after falling from a ladder. To make your work safer, let’s look at the three most common reasons for ladder accidents.
- Choosing the Wrong Ladder Parameters
Many different ladders exist on the market today. All of them serve different purposes. When choosing a ladder, it’s important to consider such parameters as height and weight capacity. If the ladder can’t handle more than 200 lbs., you should stick to the limits. Workers often forget that the tools they carry with them are heavy as well. The mentioned limit includes the total weight present on the ladder at one time. The key reason for slipping and falling is choosing a ladder too short for the task. Workers start reaching up and lose balance. Others put the ladder over something, such as a table or a chair, to increase its reach. Such an approach is highly dangerous and can result in injuries and lethal consequences.
- Not Inspecting Ladders Properly
Even though a ladder is not a complex piece of equipment, it undergoes plenty wear and tear. Companies tend to overlook the condition of ladders they have been using for years. Meanwhile, ladders have a shelf life. If are used every day, they must be replaced every two to three years. Damaged and worn ladders break easily at the most unexpected moments. It’s important to inspect them before each project to ensure workers’ safety.
- Using Ladders Incorrectly
Some workers use ladders for tasks other than climbing. They could use one to support another to increase the reach. Others may climb ladders more than one person at a time. It’s vital to ensure 3 points of contact for the ladder to be safe. It’s important to follow the standard safety guidelines and use height access tools according to their intended purpose.
If you are planning to work at heights, you may want to consider renting height-access equipment such as aerial platforms to ensure higher safety of your workers and better work efficiency.