Climb the Rungs of Ladder Safety
Whether at work or at home, most people use ladders throughout the year for a variety of tasks and chores. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls remain a leading cause of unintentional injury [deaths] nationwide – 43 percent of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder.
Ladder accidents are extremely common even though they are entirely preventable. They result from a wide variety of issues.
Tips for using ladders:
- Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
- Avoid electrical hazards – look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder and avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
- Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
- Ladders must be free of slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
- Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
- Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
- An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least three feet above the point of support. Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
- The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface.
- A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
- Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
Electrical Safety Checklist
Here is a checklist you can use to help you make your home safe:
Electric outlets are not overloaded with lots of plugs.
- Electric cords are in good condition.
- Electric cords do not run under rugs, furniture legs or near hot appliances.
- Electric appliances are used away from water.
- People carry appliances by the handle, not the cord.
- A multipurpose fire extinguisher is kept in the house.
- Electric appliances that can get hot, such as toasters heaters and light bulbs, are kept away from things that can burn.
- Safety caps are inserted in outlets when small children are around.
- Small appliances are turned off and/or unplugged when people leave home.
- All extension cords, lights and appliances used outdoors are labeled for outdoor use.
Click on the Electrical Safety Foundation International link below for more information about electrical safety.