If you perform a search for an average ladder, it will range from $200 – $400, but what if the cost of not having one was over $25,000? Ladders are the most practical piece of equipment that is overlooked on a job site because it is so commonly used. However, each time they are used unsafely, it increases the chances of a fall or accident occurring. In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 161 fatalities and 22,710 work injuries from ladders. Before accounting for OSHA fines, the average cost of medical and wage losses through a ladder injury may cost at least $27,000 per construction worker.
Ladders have held a rank on OSHA’s annual “Top 10 Violations” list since 2005. Just last year, it ranked 3rd on the list with more than 2,000 citations. The most common reason found for the injuries was inadequate training. Since ladders are a relatively simple piece of equipment, training is commonly overlooked. Those who are designated to your company’s safety and compliance should be familiar with OSHA regulation 1926.1060, stating employers are required to provide ladder safety training to workers via a “competent person”, speaking on subjects like weight capacities and fall hazards.
Implementing training can assist workers to determine whether a ladder is appropriate for the job instead of a lift or scaffold. With four types of portable ladders that are all used differently, all workers should be reminded to wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Items such as slip-resistant shoes and gloves with a grip. They should also be wearing fall arrest systems on ladders and scaffolds over certain heights. Companies can begin training by enrolling in courses such as Fall Protection Hazard Awareness or EM 385 Fall Protection course.
To help promote ladder safety remember the acronym C.L.I.M.B., created by Louisville Ladder:
C- Choose the right ladder
L- Look for any damage
I- Implementation of a safe routine setup
M- Make 3 points of contact
B- Be Safe
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