New OSHA Ladder Safety Brochure Helps Prevent Falls

Industrial / Construction, Safety News

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction every year, and falls from ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. OSHA has a new booklet that shows how ladder falls can be prevented – and lives can be saved – by following simple safe-work practices. Here’s an example:

The first question to ask in any high-reach situation: Is a ladder the right equipment to use? Although a ladder or stepladder often comes to mind first, it might not be the best option. Workers should ask four questions before deciding on a ladder:

  • Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder?
  • Is the elevated area high enough that it would require a long ladder that can be unstable?
  • Will I be working from this height for a long time?
  • Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to do this work?

If any answers are yes, workers should consider using something other than a ladder, such as a scissor lift. If a ladder is all that’s available, use one with a working platform and hand rail barricades on the sides (e.g., a platform step ladder).

The 14-page booklet includes illustrations and text in English and Spanish.