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April 23, 2013

New OSHA Ladder Safety Brochure Helps Prevent Falls

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction every year, and falls from ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. OSHA has a new booklet that shows how ladder falls can be prevented - and lives can be saved - by following simple safe-work practices. Here's an example:
Ladder Safety Sticker

The first question to ask in any high-reach situation: Is a ladder the right equipment to use? Although a ladder or stepladder often comes to mind first, it might not be the best option. Workers should ask four questions before deciding on a ladder:

  • Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder?
  • Is the elevated area high enough that it would require a long ladder that can be unstable?
  • Will I be working from this height for a long time?
  • Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to do this work?
If any answers are yes, workers should consider using something other than a ladder, such as a scissor lift. If a ladder is all that's available, use one with a working platform and hand rail barricades on the sides (e.g., a platform step ladder).

The 14-page booklet includes illustrations and text in English and Spanish.

1 comment:

  1. Even though this pamphlet may seem like it is just published common sense, you'd be surprised to see how many employees don't follow simple guidelines. Working from heights, at any height, is a risk. This publication has some great information to help those working from heights make sure they are taking all steps necessary to work safely on the job.