Ladder Safety

Fall in New England can be a mesmerizing time of of year. However, after the leaves’ colors have burst, we are left with raking and gutter cleaning.

With this in mind, we offer the following OSHA ladder safety tips:

Ladder Setup

  1. Place ladder feet firmly and evenly on the ground or floor. Make sure the ladder is sitting straight and secure before climbing it. If one foot sits in a low spot, build up the surface with firm material.
  2. Do not try to make a ladder reach farther by setting it on boxes, barrels, bricks, blocks or other unstable bases.
  3. Do not allow ladders to lean sideways. Level them before using.
  4. Brace the foot of the ladder with stakes or place stout boards against the feet if there is any danger of slipping.
  5. Never set up or use a ladder in a high wind, especially a lightweight metal or fiberglass type. Wait until the air is calm enough to insure safety.
  6. Never set up a ladder in front of a door unless the door is locked or a guard is posted.
  7. Do not use ladders on ice or snow unless absolutely necessary. If they must be used on ice or snow, use spike or spur-type safety shoes on the ladder feet and be sure they are gripping properly before climbing.
  8. Use Safety shoes on ladder feet whenever there is any possibility of slipping.

Ladder Climbing and Standing

  1. Keep the steps and rungs of ladders free of grease, oil, wet paint, mud, snow, ice, paper and other slippery materials. Also clean such debris off your shoes before climbing a ladder.
  2. Always face a ladder when climbing up or down. Use both hands and maintain a secure grip on the rails or rungs.
  3. Never carry heavy or bulky loads up a ladder. Climb up yourself first, and then pull up the material with a rope.
  4. Climb and stand on a ladder with your feet in the center of the steps or rungs.
  5. Do not overreach from a ladder, or lean too far to one side. Overreaching is probably the most common cause of falls from ladders. A good rule is to always keep your belt buckle inside the rails of a ladder. Work as far as you can reach comfortably and safely, then move the ladder to a new position.
  6. Never climb onto a ladder from the side, from above the top or from one ladder to another.
  7. Never slide down a ladder.

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