March is National Ladder Safety Month. The American Ladder Institute (ALI) highlights these workplace statistics to bring awareness to the importance of the safe use of ladders in the workplace:
· $5.50 billion is spent on workplace falls from working at heights.
· Falls from height are the third most common disabling workplace injury.
· Ladders are #7 on the Top 10 Most Cited Violations list of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). One of those citations is using the top or top step of a ladder as a step.
The ALI offers these misconceptions and facts related to ladder safety in the workplace:
Misconception: “My weight hasn’t changed in years; I don’t need to worry about the ladder’s weight rating.”
Fact: 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.
Misconception: “I have some heavy items that I’ll be carrying as I climb this ladder. Let me get a taller one to carry the load.”
Fact: A taller ladder does not equate to a higher weight rating. To ensure that you are using the right ladder for the job, make sure that you are taking into account the Duty Rating for your ladder. The Duty Rating is the total amount of weight your ladder will support. Here is the simple calculation for determining the Duty Rating needed for the job at hand:
· Your weight; plus
· The weight of your clothing and protective equipment; plus
· The weight of tools and supplies you are using.
Misconception: “I don’t work at high heights, I don’t need to worry about ladder and fall safety.”
Fact: More often than not, ladder injures are caused by people using them incorrectly. In an ALI survey on ladder safety, 75.7 percent of respondents felt that ladder accidents in their workplace could have been avoided with ladder safety training.
Take safety into your own hands by taking ladder safety seriously. Visit www.LadderSafetyMonth.com to learn more.