Our previous post discussed the frequency and causes of ladder accidents. This post continues the theme, listing tips that government and private organizations offer to ensure safe use of ladders at home and on the job.
Ladder safety information can be found at:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- The American Ladder Institute
- The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
- The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
- Harvard University School of Public Health
Many insurance companies and ladder manufacturers also produce information about the safe use of ladders. Additionally, most state labor and health agencies, including those in New York, provide tips about safe ladder use.
One agency has gone a step further in trying to ensure safety among ladder users. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has developed a smartphone application that helps users position ladders correctly based on visuals, sound and vibration. The app also offers interactive safety materials and a checklist for ladder selection.
The organizations promoting ladder safety have the same theme: Think about what you are doing when using a ladder. If something goes wrong, you will have almost no time to correct the situation. Use a safety checklist. “Anticipate” and “prevent” are the watchwords when it comes to ladder safety. Other common tips from safety organizations include:
- Keep your body centered.
- Keep your body straight and close to the ladder.
- Don’t lean too far from the vertical.
- Don’t reach overhead.
- Don’t try to reposition the ladder while standing on it.
Most ladder accidents are preventable. However, construction workers must be trained and have the right tools to implement preventive strategies