by Dr. Isabel Perry,
“The Safety Doctor”
17.4% of all fatal
work injuries are caused by falls.
About 19 %of all permanent disabilities and 21 % of all
temporary total disabilities on the job are caused by falls, many of them from
ladders. We all get busy and don’t pay
close attention to what we’re doing. Take the time to be safe on a ladder. Most of it is common sense.
Before Using a Ladder:
Inspect your ladder before using it. Are there broken rungs, or damaged rails?
There should be non-skid shoes on all ladders.
Clean the rungs of any grease or other foreign substances.
The ladder should not be wobbly when set up.
Don’t use metal ladders around electrical equipment or
Position your ladder properly. It should extend one foot away from the wall
for every four feet of height. It should
have three rungs above the top point at which you want to work.
Place ladder on a firm foundation. Don’t put it up on boxes or other supports.
Tie off your ladder – top and bottom.
Don’t use a stepladder as a straight ladder.
Actions of Others:
Look around to see if there are doorways where people might
come through and accidentally bump your ladder. You may need to block the door while you are working.
Using a Ladder:
Use the correct size of ladder for the job.
Climb the ladder holding on with both hands.
If you need to bring things up with you, go up the ladder first, then hoist the
materials up or have someone pass things up to you if the distance isn’t too
Don’t climb above the third rung from the top on any type of
Only one person should be on the ladder at a time.
As the work you are doing gets farther away from you, instead of reaching that extra couple of
inches, move the ladder.
I’m sure you have a good idea of what can happen in a ladder
accident, so let’s do everything possible to prevent one from happening to you
or someone you know. Taking a few
minutes to prepare properly for the job will save you from becoming a possible
Dr. Isabel Perry is an
internationally-known safety expert, motivational speaker, author, and safety
educator. Based in
, she can be reached at 407-291-1209 or via e-mail at