Workplace Ladder Safety
3 MINUTE READ
Prevent future worker injuries and fatalities due to falls from ladders. Discover the latest statistics related to ladders and falls, get a break down of the most common types of ladders, and a simple overview of OSHA's mandatory safety requirements for common types of ladders. Also, see how you can prevent future injuries and improve ladder safety with a variety of easy-to-implement solutions.
The following is a transcript of the Workplace Ladder Safety Infographic:
Workplace Ladder Safety
Approximately 18% (211,741 OF THE 1.2 million nonfatal injuries in 2020 came from slips, trips, and falls.
A fall of 6ft. or greater off of a ladder frequently results in injury or death.
Number of falls, slips, and trips resulting in days away from work in all industries 211,640
22,710 of fall injuries were the direct result of falling off a ladder (U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics)
21,400 trips, slip, or fall injuries occurred in the construction industry alone in 2020.
Improper use of ladders was number 3 on OSHA's top 10 citations in 2020 (OSHA)
Fatal Falls from Ladders in the United States
- 2020: 161
- 2019: 171
- 2018: 145
- 2017: 156
- 2016: 183
In 2020 there were 849 fatalities from falls. 170 of those fatalities were falls from ladders.
21,400 trips, slip or fall injuries occurred in the construction industry alone in 2020.
Improper use of ladders in construction was the sixth most cited OSHA standard violated in 2020.
Ladders permanently fixed in a single spot.
Ladders that are leaned up against something.
Portable ladders that can stand up on their own (typically "A" shaped)
Shaped like the letter "I." These are forbidden by 1910.23 (general) and 1926.1053 (construction)
OSHA'S MANDATORY SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL LADDERS
All ladders must be capable of SUPPORTING THEIR MAXIMUM INTENDED LOAD.
ALL LADDER RUNGS MUST BE:
- Level and uniformly spaced
- Shaped in a way that a worker's feet cannot slide off of the rungs
Ladders should have NONCONDUCTIVE SIDE RAILS if they are used near exposed electrical equipment.
METAL LADDERS should be protected against corrosion and have a NON-SLIP TEXTURE ON THE RUNGS.
WOODEN LADDERS should not be coated with a material (paint, primer, etc.) that makes inspecting them for damage difficult or impossible.
Ladder rungs must be between 10 AND 14 INCHES APART.
- Manhole ladders
- Elevator pit ladders
- Telecommunication ladders
Damaged ladders should be labeled "DO NOT USE" and decommissioned or repaired.
Ladders should not be moved while a person is climbing them.
Workers climbing ladders should not carry objects that could throw off their balance.
ADDITIONAL OSHA REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC LADDERS
Distance between fixed ladder rung and back of mounted object must be 7 inches. Exception: elevator pits,
where the minimum is 4.5 inches.
Ladders must be able to sustain at least two loads of 250 pounds each, concentrated between any two consecutive rungs.
Ladder side rails and grab bars should extend 42 inches past the top level of access where the ladder terminates.
LADDERS THAT ARE 24 FEET OR LONGER must have one of the following safety devices:
- Self-retracting lifelines
- A cage or well
- Adjacent offset ladder sections with a platform every 50 feet
- Rest platforms every 150 feet or less
LADDERS WITHOUT CAGES OR WELLS must have:
- A clear width of 15 inches on either side of the ladder's centerline to the nearest permanent object.
- A minimum perpendicular distance of 30 inches from the centerline of the rungs on the climbing side to the nearest permanent object.
- NOTE: the minimum perpendicular distance can be 24 inches if a deflection plate is installed.
- Ladder should extend 3 feet past the edge it is making contact with.
- Top step should not be used, unless specifically stated otherwise.
- Both side rails should be securely set against landing edge.
- The base of the ladder should be set the ladder's height away from the wall. Example: 6' ladder should be 1.5' from the wall
- Ladder must hold 4 times the maximum intended load.
- Example: 180 lbs person + 20 lbs supplies = 200 lbs | 200 lbs x 4 = 800 lbs (ladder must hold)
- Side rails must be 11.5 inches apart at minimum.
- Should not be used in a half open or partially open state.
- Must have a spreader or locking device to hold the front and back sections in an open position.
Ladder must be able to sustain up to 4 times the maximum intended load.
4 STEPS FOR SAFE PORTABLE LADDER USE
PLACE: Set your ladder on solid, level ground, making sure it is the correct distance from the wall being climbed (distance = x/4, where x= ladder's height). Ladder's Height = X, Distance from wall = X/4.
INSPECT: Check that the ladder extends 3 feet past its point of contact with the upper location. Make sure the ladder will bear the weight of the person and supplies traveling up it. Inspect it for damage per the requirements in 1910.23(b)(9). 3 Feet. Ladder must support weight of person plus supplies. Inspect for damages.
SECURE: Secure it using other equipment, and make sure it cannot be knocked down or jostled by nearby work operations. It may be necessary to use a barricade.
CLIMB: Ascend the ladder, keeping 3 points of contact at all times.1,2, 3.
SAFETY SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE LADDER INJURIES AND FATALITIES
Use PATHFINDER Floor Marking, Wayfinding & Safety Tape
- ANTI-SLIP TAPE: Add extra traction to rungs, platforms, and the base of your ladder
- AISLE TAPE: Mark the area beneath a fixed ladder that must remain clear at all times
Use DURALABEL Label & Signs
Use PREMADE Labels & Signs
DuraLabel Toro 1/2'' to 4'' Tape Widths
DuraLabel Kodiak 4'' - 10'' Tape Widths
- Remind workers of safe ladder practices
- Identify the rungs which should not be stepped on
- Indicate a ladder's weight capacity limit and height
- Mark the top 3 feet of the ladder as a visual reference
Contact GRAPHIC PRODUCTS for all your LADDER SAFETY needs
888.326.9244 | DuraLabel.com/Ladder
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