Canadian Contractor

Dave Gray   

March is Ladder Safety Month

Renovation Contractor

In the U.S. they’re calling March Ladder Safety Month, and it’s a good time to think about safely working at heights

As we move into the warmer months the projects we work on increasingly have us working at height, whether it’s painting exterior cladding or installing new siding, roofing, or windows. And I can guarantee that we’ve all seen someone do something unsafe on ladder, from carrying a heavy awkward load or leaning out to far, to jumping the ladder across a wall to adjust its positioning.

In the U.S. they’re calling March Ladder Safety Month, and it’s a good time to think about safely working at heights, particularly if you’ve been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th.

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Gary Sharp

Here’s an excerpt with some ladder safety tips from the CHBA Connects column by Gary Sharp coming up in the April/May issue:

In 2015, there were 232,629 workers hurt on the job in Canada; 143,478 were male and 89,151 were female. The construction industry’s share of that total was 26,015 people, representing approximately 11 percent of all injured workers.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the U.S., 1 in 10 construction workers are injured every year. The Center for Construction Research and Training notes that falls are the greatest cause of fatal construction injuries. And in terms of where these falls are occurring 39 percent are from roofs, 33 percent are from scaffolds, and the remainder are falls from ladders.
Make sure everyone knows it is important to think safety and it is everyone’s responsibility to be looking out for themselves, but if they see some someone else at risk, they need to say something.
To get it started, here are some simple ladder and scaffold tips to start the conversation.

Ladder Tips

  • Inspect ladders for damage before use.
  • Mark a damaged ladder and take it out of use.
  • Choose the correct ladder for the job.
  • Know the load capacity of the ladder and figure your weight plus the tools and the materials to be supported.
  • Don’t stretch, lean, or otherwise over-extend yourself while working on a ladder.
  • Get off the ladder to move it – don’t “walk” it, or “jump” it into a new position.
  • The base of a ladder should come out from the structure 1 foot for every 4 feet up.
  • Extend ladders 3’ above the level being accessed.
  • Don’t put ladders on top of boxes or use something on a ladder rung to reach higher.
  • Don’t leave tools hanging on a rung.
  • Don’t tie ladders together for more height.
  • Don’t use ladders as walkways or platforms.

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