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Making Ladder Safety a Priority in Work Sites

October 30, 2009

According to safety meeting notes provided by the State Compensation Insurance Fund, entitled “Ladders – Make Ladder Safety a High Priority,” a majority of accidents that occur on work site locations are a direct result of improper ladder safety.  They strongly believe that workers should consider the following: “Before using any ladder, check its condition.  Make sure there are no broken, cracked, or missing rails and that the ladder rungs are not slippery from grease or oil.”  The condition of ladder rungs is very important to avoid slip and fall accidents.

In my opinion, slip resistant ladder rungs should be incorporated into the construction of every ladder, whether it is for internal or external usage.  Though the condition of the ladder itself is still crucial, the most important components are the ladder rungs themselves.  Slip resistant ladder rung covers can be placed directly over existing ladder rungs to provide workers with the safety and security necessary during use.

OSHA regulations on ladder rungs for portable ladders require that ladders are protected to avoid accidents:

  • Ladder rungs must be constructed to ensure that the user’s foot will not slide off
  • Ladder rungs must be skid resistant
  • Ladder rungs must be parallel, level and spaced appropriately (10 – 14 inches apart) at the time that the ladder in positioned for use

OSHA regulations also state  that the ladders themselves must be kept free of substances such as oil, grease and wet paint to ensure the safety of the user.  In conjunction with the ladder safety rules placed by OSHA regulations, providing slip resistant ladder rungs on all industrial ladders will help decrease the number of accidents and increase worker productivity on work sites.

State Compensation Insurance Fund. “Ladders – Make Ladder Safety a High Priority.”

United States Department of Labor. “OSHA Construction eTool – Ladder Safety.”

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