When your employees use ladders on the construction jobsite, do they give more than a passing thought to ladder safety? As a construction business owner, do you? You and your employees should consider ladder safety just as important as all other areas of safety on a construction jobsite.
Ladder safety statistics:
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in the U.S. 724,000 people are injured in a ladder-related incident - nearly 2,000 each day!
- Little Giant Ladders estimates that 100 of those people injured experience a long-term or permanent disability
- Several agencies report more than 330 people die each year from ladder accidents
- Handling injuries (strains and sprains to neck, shoulders, back, knees, ankles, etc.) are the most common type of ladder-related injury on the jobsite
The American Ladder Institute offers a free, online ladder safety training tool for all employees using ladders. The training tool covers the proper selection, care and safe use of all types of ladders. The program outlines safe ladder practices in all applications, including construction sites.
There is also an OSHA standard for ladders and ladder use. In addition, OSHA offers several reference resources for safe ladder use and preventing falls from ladders. While falls from ladders can cause serious injury, it's important to note that handling injuries can be almost as detrimental to a construction business. If an employee can't work because of a strain or injury from improper handling of a ladder, the construction business will not only have to worry about the costs but also how to make up for the missing employee and the work that needs to be done.
Do yourself and your employees a favor. Just like with any aspect of safety, make sure anyone using a ladder is properly trained and employees are reminded of ladder safety often to keep best practices top of mind on the jobsite.