Did you know March is National Ladder Safety Month?
Celebrated from February 22nd up to March 31st, the National Ladder Safety Month is a movement dedicated to ladders’ safe use at work and home. The celebration seeks to raise awareness regarding the safe and proper use of ladders to decrease ladder-related injuries and fatalities.
The American Ladder Institute (API), the only approved developer of safety standards for the ladder industry in the United States, seeks to spread awareness about the importance of planning, training, and continuous enhancements of ladder designs to prevent ladder-related accidents.
Why Ladder Safety for Construction Worker/ Electricians Is So Important
Workers like electricians have to use ladders when accessing homes and buildings, which leaves them prone to accidents. So if there are job sectors heavily concerned with ladder safety, that would be construction and electrical.
In this modern age, ladder accidents still happen a lot. Each year, more than 500,000 people are treated in the United States because of ladder-related injuries. What’s even more alarming is that 300 Americans die each year because of injuries sustained through ladder accidents.
Ladder injuries have an estimated cost of around $24 billion each year if all the related costs are factored in. The saddest part in all of this is that all of these can be easily avoided. With better ladder safety and safer ladders, the number of accidents can be cut drastically.
The disappointing stats just shows where the National Ladder Safety Month plays a significant role.
The Focus of the National Ladder Safety Month
For this year’s celebration of the National Ladder Safety Month, each week has a theme. The following are the planned themes for each week:
March 1 – 11: Overall Importance of Ladder Safety
For the first week, the emphasis will be on informing the public about the need for a month-long celebration of ladders’ safety. Most people are still unaware that there is this kind of celebration, and even for those who have heard about it, they may not have thought about its significance to them.
The public should be aware that ladder safety is not just about safety in the workplace. It’s also about safely using ladders at home.
March 12 – 18: Ladder Safety at Work
Ladders are commonly used in construction sites and other workplaces. Improper use of ladders can lead to some serious accidents. This is why the second week of Ladder Safety Month focuses on the idea of ladder safety at work.
The aim is to reduce ladder-related accidents and injuries. The sad truth is that most of those accidents and injuries are entirely preventable.
March 19 – 25: Ladder Safety at Home
Homeowners sometimes perform home maintenance tasks using ladders. The most common example of this is when they clean gutters. There are other uses for ladders in a home setting and it’s always essential to maintain safety standards whenever using them.
That’s why ladder safety at home is the focus of the third week of Ladder Safety Month.
March 26 – April 1: Ladder Inspection and Disposal
Many ladder-related accidents happen because of old and defective ladders. No matter how careful you are, if the ladder you are using is faulty, you could still get hurt. This is why proper ladder inspection should be taught.
It’s essential to know the things that should be checked on a ladder. How can one tell that it is no longer safe to use? When does it have to be replaced?
Those are the themes for the weeks making up the National Ladder Safety Month. Electrical contractors can join the celebration by posting information regarding the month on their social media accounts. They can also share some safety tips for the proper use of ladders.
Ladder Safety Tips
Ladder accidents are more common than what some people might suppose. This is why it helps if there are ladder safety tips to educate the public regarding this.
Here are a few ladder safety tips that we can use:
Tip #1: Pick the Right Type of Ladder
You need to choose the right kind of ladder that you can use. Types of ladders include stepstools, stepladders, and self-supporting types. You need to pick the type that matches the use you have in mind for it. You may have to use a platform ladder when you are doing some electrical work on the ceiling. It provides more stability for you to perform your work.
Tip #2: Ladder Height Requirements
There are also some safety rules that you should remember concerning the height of ladders. You must get a ladder that will allow you to perform your task while staying balanced and secure. If you get off-balanced when you are using a ladder, that means it’s not the right one to use for that task.
Never stand and work while on the top two steps of a step ladder, nor should you work on the top four steps of an extended extension ladder. A ladder should be extended beyond 3 feet the support or the base for it to be balanced appropriately.
Tip #3: Duty Rating
Ladders are given duty ratings which determine the kind of task or work where they can be used. Make sure that you are aware of the duty rating of the ladder that you are using to know that you are safe.
The highest rating is Type 1AA, which has a maximum weight of 375 lbs and can be used for heavy jobs.
Tip #4: Follow the Right Way of Climbing Ladders
There is a right way of climbing ladders. It’s essential to maintain the three points of contact all the time. The climber must also stay within the rails.
A worker should also not carry tools when climbing. Those can be carried on harnesses, or they can be pulled up after the worker has climbed.
These are just four ladder safety tips that can reduce the number of accidents significantly if everyone followed.
Ladder accidents are still common, but they are preventable. Electricians and other workers should be conscious of the safe way of using ladders all the time.
If you want to know more about safety in the workplace, check out what Power Partner MN has to offer.