Ladder Safety Toolbox Talk
Don’t let the simplicity of a ladder lull you into thinking accidents won’t happen.
Always make sure that you choose the right ladder for the job. Remember these guidelines:
- Type I –A: Ladders are heavy duty and are “rated” to handle up to 300 pounds (136 kilograms)
- Type I: Ladders are rated for up to 225/250 lbs. (102/ 113 kg) – check the label on the side rail of the ladder
- Type II: Ladders are rated for up to 200 lbs. (90 kg)
- Type III: Ladders are for “light duty” only
Ladders also vary in length. Choose one that is high enough for the job, but not so
high that it becomes a hazard.
Once you have chosen your ladder, inspect it thoroughly, keeping the following in mind:
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- Rungs/step must be clean and free from grease or oil.
- Make sure there are no splinters or sharp edges.
- Must ensure that metal ladders are not dented or bent.
- Safety feet should be in place.
- All supporting, braces and bolts must be present and fully secure.
- On extension ladders, make fully sure rope is not torn or frayed.
- Don’t allow more than one person on a ladder at one time.
There are also numerous general safety tips to keep in mind. For example:
- Use fall protection when working off a ladder (Refer to Site-Specific rules concerning the height).
- When feasible, “tie off” all ladders more than 6 ft. (1.82 m) in height.
- Never use aluminum ladders around live electrical services or welding.
- Make sure the ladder’s feet are parallel to the surface it rests against.
- Keep both hands free when ascending or descending.
- Avoid excessive stretching or leaning.
- Avoid the top step and platform of a stepladder and the top four rungs on straight ladders.
- Do not use damage and uncertified ladder.
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For straight/extension ladders:
- Make sure the top is anchored.
- When used for access, extend the ladder 3 ft. (0.9 m) above the landing.
- Place the ladder so that the distance from the base of the supporting object to the base of the Ladder is one-quarter of the distance from the base of the ladder to the top of the supporting object.
- Make sure the hinge spreader is working properly.
- Have someone hold the ladder when on unstable ground or when applicable.
Falls from Ladders are a significant cause of injuries in Construction. Take preventive measures at all times before climbing on any type of Ladder. Think safety – ZERO INCIDENTS – throughout each and every task!
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