There are a number of tradesman whose work involves them climbing a ladder at some time or the other such as builders, electricians and plumbers. Although ladders are such a common feature on construction sites, they are consistently the cause of falls and injuries. Perhaps this is due to the fact that workers are complacent towards ladders because they are such a common sight on construction sites. This does not mean that they do not present a hazard, in fact they are the cause of dozens of injuries from falls each year.
Some of the steps that workers can take to avoid falling from ladders include:
- There are different types of ladders. Make sure you use the correct ladder for the task at hand.
- Have a competent person visually inspect a ladder before use for any defects such as structural damage, split/bent side rails, broken or missing rungs/steps/cleats and missing or damaged safety devices; grease, dirt or other contaminants that could cause slips or falls;
- Also check for paint or stickers (except warning labels) that could hide possible defects.
- Make sure that ladders are long enough to safely reach the area where you will be working.
- Mark or tag damaged or defective ladders for repair or replacement or destroy them immediately so that some other worker doesn’t use it.
- Never load ladders beyond the maximum intended load or beyond the manufacturer’s recommended capacity. Be sure the load rating can support the weight of the user, including materials and tools.
- Avoid using ladders with metallic components near electrical work and overhead power lines.