Construction tools can be powerful and dangerous. However, even low-tech tools can put workers in danger if they are broken, defective or misused.
Ladders are one example of basic construction equipment that can cause severe injuries to users. Because they are so common and simple, people often underestimate how dangerous they can be. However, the fact is that ladder accidents can be common and serious, so taking steps to prevent them is crucial.
Every tool workers use on a construction job should be inspected regularly, including ladders. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that a competent person inspect ladders periodically.
As this article recommends, parties conducting the inspection should have ladder-specific training and experience. Further, they should thoroughly examine all parts, including ladder feet, rungs, rails and ropes for potential hazards. And the more often parties use a ladder, the more frequently someone should inspect it.
Replacing broken ladders
If parts of a ladder are broken or worn to such an extent that they create a safety risk, replacing them sooner rather than later will be crucial. You may be able to repair a ladder by replacing a single part, or you may need to stop using an unsafe ladder altogether and get a new one.
In addition to putting individuals in danger, using any broken tool on a construction project can make the job more difficult and produce less desirable results.
Using them properly
Ladders are safe when people use them properly. Users should make sure they are stable before climbing them. They should be on level surfaces and at a safe angle. All rungs and spreaders should be locked into place.
In most cases, users should not stand on the top stop, and they should make any adjustments to positions and heights while they are off the ladder.
Inspecting, repairing and using ladders properly can keep workers safe. These precautions prevent catastrophic injuries that can result from ladder falls and other serious accidents on the job.