National Safety Month: Preventing Slips, Trips And Falls

The first week of National Safety Month is focusing on the prevention of slips, trips and falls. One important component of this is ladder safety, as proper ladder setup will help prevent slips and falls when at work or home. The National Safety Council recommends the removal of the following hazards to help control safety for yourself and others:

Common Fall Hazards:

  • Choose the right ladder for the job and make sure you have received training on how to use it properly
  • Check the work area for hazards, such as cords or objects in the walkway
  • If the ladder is particularly long and heavy, get a coworker to help you carry it
  • Inspect the ladder before and after a job – don’t use a damaged or unsafe ladder
  • Read all warning labels carefully and follow directions before you climb
  • Place the base of the ladder on a firm, solid surface
  • Make sure the top of the ladder has firm support, too – never lean a ladder against a window pane or other unstable surface
  • A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it rests against for every 4 feet of ladder height – make sure the ladder extends at least 3 feet over the top edge
  • Securely fasten straight and extension ladders to the upper support
  • Wear clean, dry, slip-resistant shoes and use ladders with slip resistant feet
  • Pay attention to the weight limits specific to the ladder you are using
  • Don’t stand any higher than the third rung from the top of a ladder
  • Don’t lean or overreach – reposition the ladder closer to the work instead
  • Don’t use a ladder as a bridge or scaffold
  • Don’t put a ladder on a box, barrel or other object to gain additional height
  • Always keep at least three points of contact with the ladder (i.e. two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand)
  • When you climb, always face the ladder and grip the rungs, not the siderails
  • Keep your body between the ladder siderails when climbing
  • Do not climb with tools in hand – use a tool belt
  • Climb down a ladder one rung at a time and don’t jump off
  • Do not use ladders outdoors in windy or inclement weather, and if the weather turns while you are on it, descend immediately

To see the National Safety Council’s official list of hazards to remove, visit their website. For future tips in preventing injury and accidents, check back to our blog throughout the month of June for safety awareness and education!

Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC