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Ladder Safety is a Year-round Topic

ladder safety
March 28, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

By Karen L. Edwards, RCS COO.

While we promote Ladder Safety awareness each March, we need to not forget about it the rest of the year. 

Falls from ladders are a leading cause of injury in the United States. The American Ladder Institute (ALI) reports that “work-related ladder falls result in one death and more than 180 nonfatal injuries every two days in America.” To increase awareness about the importance of ladder safety, ALI promotes the month of March as Ladder Safety month.  

With those kinds of numbers, we need to be thinking about promoting ladder safety among our workers as a year-round safety topic; implement ladder safety checklists as part of your normal safety routine. ALI offers a downloadable list that reviews exactly what to look for and simple precautionary reminders to help you safely navigate the use of your ladder. From things as simple as remembering to wipe the soles of your shoes to maximize grip to making sure the weather doesn’t pose a hazard, the list contains a dozen or so reminders to help keep your teams safe.  

Be sure that your workers are trained on ladder safety using ALI’s online learning class that is a free tool “for the proper selection, care and safe use of all ladders, including stepladders, single and extension ladders, articulated ladders and mobile ladders.” 

OSHA offers a ladder safety Quick Card that emphasizes portable ladder safety and reviews the proper ways to set up and climb portable ladders. It’s just as important to share this information with your team members who aren’t in the field as they are at high risk of injury while using a ladder at their home. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 500,000 people are treated and about 300 people die from ladder-related injuries each year in the U.S. with many of these injuries occurring at home. 

For those employers whose team members use ladders in their everyday course of work, it’s imperative to make sure that the ladders being used meet OSHA’s requirements. Nobody wants an OSHA fine, but more importantly, we want every team member to make it home safely at the end of each day. 

Stay up to date with the latest roofing industry news when you sign up for the RCS Week in Roofing e-news. 

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