Too many hazards throughout the workplace are becoming invisible to operators. If the operators are not properly trained on the nature of hazards, it is easy to walk right by the issue. This unconscious acceptance is often the case with improperly designed and installed ladders. According to OSHA’s standards in the fiscal year of 2010, ladders were in the top 10 percent for which OSHA assessed the highest financial penalties. There are many options in making a ladder safe such as installing a non-slip stainless steel rods, which are corrosion and chemical resistant.
The most common violations on ladders are listed below:
- Ladders which are not parallel to landings, leaving excess gaps which can result in falls.
- Obstructions behind ladders, such as piping and wires. These should be at least 7 inches away from the climbing surface.
- Ladder bases that are not within 12 inches of the ground.
- Ladder rungs greater than 12 inches apart and not uniform in size.
- OSHA inspections not being performed annually.
- Not having a slip resistant surface on the ladder rungs or ladder rung covers.
An example of a worksite safety violation from OSHA in regards to ladders was in 2009, a refrigeration repair company had an employee fall 12 feet to the ground while using a fixed ladder to access the roof of a building. He ended up dying 10 days later due to injuries from the fall. This company was proposed with penalties of $15,750.
In order to avoid these accidents, operators and employees must take note of hazardous situations. By following the correct guidelines and having an OSHA inspector come out to your facility, you should be on the right track. When looking into slip resistant ladder rungs, you may consider a slip resistant stainless steel rod. Stainless steel rods not only provide high traction, but offer chemical and corrosion resistance in caustic enzyme environments. Common industries for this product are food and beverage, wastewater, education and utilities.