Ladders

General Ladder Safety – Part 3 – Straight Ladders

This last installment in a series on ladder safety will focus on straight ladders, and, since they are normally very similar in function, job-built wooden ladders.  While both step ladders and extension ladders are all mobile, job-built wooden ladders might be constructed so that they are fixed in location and cannot be moved.  With straight ladders, moving them from position to position, or to different job locations requires consideration of safely positioning them, awareness of other people or obstacles while moving them, and making sure they are secure while transporting them to a work location.  Legal considerations can also be important—in most cases objects (ladders in this case) positioned on a vehicle that extend more than 1 foot beyond the vehicle are required to have flags attached to make them clearly visible to other drivers. We will cover the use of these ladders after a short bit about the construction…

Ladders

General Ladder Safety – Part 2 – Extension Ladders

In part 2 of this series on ladder safety we look at extension ladders.  These ladders are used where a vertical surface or support is available to lean the ladder against, and often used to access roofs or other platforms above the ground.  As these ladders often can be made longer than step ladders, they have a related increase in severity of injury when accidents do happen. Because extension ladders are designed to be leaned against something when used, there are some particular safety details that are shared with straight ladders, especially when it comes to placement.  Like all ladders, placement should always be on a stable, fixed, hard surface.  Never boost an extension ladder by placing it on mobile objects such as chairs, barrels, tables, other ladders, or people.  Keep the area around the base of the ladder clear of clutter, including tools, equipment, construction supplies, paint cans, etc. …

Ladders

General Ladder Safety – Part 1 – Step Ladders

Ladder safety is a very important, yet often dismissed topic.  According to published OSHA statistics, in the private industry with the highest number of fatalities in the US in 2014, construction, the number one cause of fatal accidents was falls.  The seventh most commonly-cited OSHA standard violation in fiscal year 2015 was 29 CFR 1926.1053: Ladders, Construction.  In recognition that this places ladder safety at the core of some of the most common accidents, this series of blogs will address the issue in three parts. There are three types of ladders that are commonly used in both home use and construction: Step ladders, straight ladders, and extension ladders; and one type of ladder mainly used in construction only: job-built ladders.  Each blog in the series will address one of the types of ladders, with job-built ladders added on to one of them. Step Ladders Step ladders are normally used to…