May 16, 2016
Safe Use of Extension Ladders
By Jonathan Damashek
Falls from extension ladders happen all the time, at home or at work. In construction, workers encounter this type of accidents all the time, and the consequences can be terrible. It may cause injuries that can leave the victim with bruises, broken bones, brain damage or long-term injuries that may affect the everyday life of the victim and his or her family.
Today we want to share with you some safety practices that the Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration (OSHA) has listed to reduce falls and injuries that might be easily prevented.
Always give yourself time to get the job done safely. A competent person must visually inspect all extension ladders before use for any defects such as missing rungs, bolts, cleats, screws and loose components. Always mark a ladder that is defective to protect others.
The ladder must be able to sustain at least four times the maximum intended load, except the extra-heavy duty type 1A metal or plastic ladder that must sustain 3.3 times the weight. You should take into account your weight and the weight of what you are carrying (tools, materials, etc).
When a ladder is leaned against a wall, the bottom of the ladder should be one-quarter of the ladder’s working length away from the wall. For access to an elevated work surface, extend the top of the ladder 3 feet above that surface or secure the ladder at its top.
Other Safety Requirements
Before starting to work, check the area for potential hazards, such as energized overhead power lines. Keep all ladders and other tools at least 10 feet away from any power lines. Make sure the ladder is completely clean and there’s no oil, liquids or other residues on the steps, same with your hands or shoes. Always maintain a 3-point contact (for example 2 hands, 1 foot) when climbing/descending a ladder. Never use a ladder for a purpose that it wasn’t created for.
We hope these safety measures listed by OSHA will help you avoid falls and injuries when using a portable ladder. If you or a family member was injured at work contact us today so we can analyze your case and go over your legal rights. The lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek PC, are here to help you and your loved ones fight for your rights and get the compensation you deserve.