Toolbox Talk: Ladder Inspections and Safety
Guide for Discussion: There are a reported 136,118 ladder related injuries in the United States annually! During 2008, work-related falls from ladders resulted in approximately 119 fatalities and an estimated 17,540 serious injuries. Not all of these incidents are due to defective ladders however that can certainly be one of the factors. It is important that ladders be inspected regularly. OSHA requires it in several instances.
OSHA 1910.27(f) –Fixed Ladders — All ladders shall be maintained in a safe condition. All ladders shall be inspected regularly, with intervals between inspections being determined by use and exposure.
These required frequent inspections must be documented. Perhaps the easiest way is to have stickers or tags directly on the ladder itself and to have a ladder log to ensure they are all inspected as required. Unfortunately “frequently” is a very subjective word. Each ladder must be evaluated on its use and exposure to damaging influences. You will want to inspect a ladder that is utilized daily and/or in a high exposure area much more often then the office step stool used every now and then.
There are also rules on the use of all ladders:
- Maintain ladders free of oil, grease, and other slipping hazards
- Use ladders only for their designed purpose
- Use ladders only on stable and level surfaces unless secured to prevent accidental movement
- Secure ladders placed in areas such as passageways, doorways or driveways, or where they can be displaced by workplace activities or traffic, to prevent accidental movement –use a barricade to keep traffic or activity away from the ladder
- Keep areas clear around the top and bottoms of ladders
- Do not move, shift, or extend ladders while in use
- Use ladders with non-conductive side rails if the worker or the ladder could contact exposed energized equipment
- Face the ladder when moving up or down
- Use at least one hand to grasp the ladder when climbing
- Do not carry objects or loads that could cause loss of balance and falling
Although ladders are a part of our everyday life both at work and home it is important we don’t take them for granted. Ensure you inspect and utilize ladders appropriately.
Note: Always promote a discussion on any of the topics covered in the Toolbox Talk!
Intention: At Construct Corps we strive to nurture a “safety culture.” The intention of the Construct Corps Tool Box Talk is a brief safety talk or meeting about a specific subject given once weekly. It can take a lot of time to develop safety topics for such tool box talks each week. Feel free to print and distribute these talks.
For questions about Toolbox Talk or general safety, contact our OSHA Authorized Instructor, Marcos Caballero at (813) 498-0359.
About Construct Corps, LLC: Construct Corps is a premier skilled labor construction staffing company, providing qualified workers to commercial, industrial, and residential contractors on a temporary or long-term basis. Offering superior service since 2000, Construct Corps believes there is a right way to do things and that mutual success is the byproduct of sound principles. Combined with unique systems and processes that help insure a high staffing success rate, and Construct Corps is dispelling the myth that all construction staffing companies are the same.