Act First Safety

Stand up for Ladder Safety

Falls from ladders continue to be a leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities in Ontario. Tragically, many of these falls are preventable.

In the coming weeks, your workers will likely be carrying out annual Fall maintenance and winter-readiness tasks that will involve the use of ladders. Now is an excellent time to assess your ladder safety policies and procedures.

A good first step is to ensure your workers and supervisors are properly trained to select the right ladder, inspect it for flaws, set it up properly and use it safely. This ladder safety training is available through instructor-led or online training programs. Find a good training provider such as Act First Safety and book ladder safety training as soon as possible.

5 Ladder Safety Tips from Act First Safety

  1. Inspect the ladder – always inspect a ladder before using it. If the ladder is damaged or slippery from substances on its surface (e.g. oil, wet paint, etc.), do not use it without first correcting the problem.
  1. Set the ladder up properly – The base of the ladder should be on level ground or levelled in a secure manner using stable blocking. The distance from the feet of an extension ladder to the wall should be no more than 1/4 – 1/3 of the height of the wall it is reaching. If the ladder has locking mechanisms, engage these when opening.
  1. Use caution when climbing – Maintain a 3-point contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) when climbing a ladder. Keep your body near the middle and face the ladder while climbing.
  1. Work safely while on the ladder — When using a step-ladder do not stand higher than the 2ndrung from the top. Do not overreach when working on any type of ladder – if your belt buckle crosses either side of the ladder, it’s time to go down and move the ladder.
  1. Protect others working nearby — Avoid placing the ladder in high traffic areas where it can get bumped by people walking by. If placement options are not available, clearly mark the ladder and caution people to avoid this area while the ladder is up. Use precautions to prevent tools or other objects from dropping onto people below.
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