March is National Ladder Safety Month

worker on a ladder

Falls from ladders are preventable, yet they account for 300 deaths and some 20,000 injuries each year. The American Ladder Institute (ALI) has announced March as National Ladder Safety Month, designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and to decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.

How much ladder accidents cost

Falls are in the top three most disabling workplace injuries, and $17.1 billion is spent on workplace falls, according to the 2018 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. And ladders are #6 on OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations list.

ALI believes ladder accidents are preventable, but without better safety planning and training and continuous innovation in product design, we will continue to see far too many fatalities.

National Ladder Safety Month goals include:

  • Increase the number of ladder training certificates issued by ALI
  • Lower the rankings of ladder-related citations on OSHA’s yearly “Top 10 Citations List”
  • Decrease ladder-related injuries and fatalities
  • Increase the number of competent ladder inspector training sessions
  • Increase the number of companies and individuals that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders

Ladder safety will also be an important component of OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down in May.

Have you tried the NIOSH ladder safety app that includes straight and step ladders?

Key elements of ladder safety:

What is a ladder weight rating?
A ladder’s weight rating is the combined weight of the climber and whatever the climber is carrying. Do not forget to account for equipment or accessories when selecting a ladder with the proper weight rating.

A taller ladder does NOT equate to a higher weight rating
To ensure you are using the right ladder for the job, check the Duty Rating of your ladder. The Duty Rating is the total amount of weight your ladder will support: Your weight plus the weight of your clothing and protective equipment plus the weight of tools and supplies you are using.

Ladder and fall safety applies at any height
More often than not, ladder injuries are caused by people using them incorrectly. An American Ladder Institute survey found 3 of 4 participants felt ladder accidents in their workplace could have been avoided with training.

Here’s how you can get involved and help improve safety
at your workplace: