When it comes to keeping your employees safe on the job, one of your best tactics is to teach safety classes. These classes should have clear-cut instructions on how to safely operate the equipment that your employees are expected to use regularly. When it comes to a ladder, you may think that training is not necessary
This isn’t the case. Rather, you should emphasize the importance of ladder safety to your employees via a training course. When you take the stance of bringing up ladder safety specifically, your employees will no longer brush it off as a skill they already know. Many will focus on learning the safety tips that you explain to ensure they’re safe throughout the day. Here are five of the best tips that you should be teaching your employees in regards to ladder safety.
Pick The Right Size Ladder
There are various different size ladders available for a wide range of jobs. Your employees should be trained on how to pick the appropriate size ladder for the job that they’re doing. They should be considering factors like:
- How high do I need to reach?
- What surface will the ladder be resting on?
- How much weight must the ladder hold?
After considering these factors, employees should be instructed on how to tell the height of available ladders. Explaining how using ladders that are too tall or too short can be unsafe is a necessity. When your employees know how to effortlessly pick the right ladder size, they’ll be safer on the job site.
Assess The Surface
Emphasis should be expressed on having a firm surface to place the base of the ladder on. Slippery or wet surfaces should be avoided at all costs. Identifying a flat and firm surface should be practiced by employees to ensure they understand how to identify an ideal surface to place their ladder while working.
While assessing the base surface, you should be explaining how to address other parts of the ladder foundation. All step ladders should be open the entire way. This means until the hinges are firmly in a straight position. Extension ladders should be leaned against a solid surface. A general rule of thumb is the ladder should sit back one foot for every four feet of height.
Identify The Highest Standing Point
Each ladder, regardless if it’s a step ladder or extension ladder, will have markings for the highest standing point. This will be well before the top steps or rungs of the ladder. You should be informing employees on where to find the markings so that they can determine how high they may safely climb on a ladder.
Pre-Ladder Climbing Assessment
It’s helpful to have a standard protocol for employees to follow. Construct a safety checklist that employees can run through before they attempt to climb the ladder. This may look something like the following:
- Is The Ladder Free From Debris?
- Are my tools in my belt instead of in my hands?
- Where is the highest point marking on the ladder?
- Is the ladder positioned where I can safely reach my work point?
Identifying And Reporting Ladder Damage
As with any tool that gets regularly used, ladders will require regular maintenance. It’s a good idea to set a regular time period where employees should be assessing their ladder for safety issues. Whether that be at the start of their shift or once a week, it should be a regular occurrence. Checking for things like dents, loose rungs, or bent hinges should be explained in detail. All issues should be properly reported to a supervisor for safe handling.
Teaching your employees about ladder safety can help to ensure that they stay safer on the job. While you may have employees who believe a ladder is simple to use and doesn’t require much thought, you should address this by increasing the emphasis you place on ladder safety. When you make it a big deal, so do your employees.