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Eye Safety & Safety Glasses (Jan/Feb-24)
Protecting Employees When Performing Machine Operations (Nov/Dec-23)
Protecting Students from Machine Hazards (Jul/Aug-23)
Electrical Safety (May/Jun-23)
Machine Guarding (Jan/Feb-23)
Have We Learned Anything About Safety Over the Last Fifty Years? (Nov/Dec-22)
OSHA Annouces 2021 Top 10 Frequently Cited Standards (Sep/Oct-22)
Have You Conducted Your Periodic Lockout & Tagout Audit? (Jan/Feb-22)
Workplace Violence (Jul/Aug-21)
Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety? (May/Jun-21)
Creating A Safety Culture (Nov/Dec-20)
Before You Purchase New Machinery (Sep/Oct-20)
Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety? (May/Jun-20)
OSHA Issues Interim Guidance to Help Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Mar/Apr-20)
Have You Recently Conducted Your Required Safety & Health Program Audits? (Nov/Dec-19)
Does OSHA Cite Employers Equally? (May/Jun-19)
Are You Ready For The New Year? (Mar/Apr-19)
Creating a Safety Culture Means Staying Informed (Nov/Dec-18)
Safe Lifting Techniques (Sep/Oct-18)
Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Jul/Aug-18)
Do You Know How Old Your Tires Really Are? (Jan/Feb-18)
Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance (Nov/Dec-17)
Forklift Safety Ė You Can Save A Life Today (Sep/Oct-17)
Protect Your Employees from Heat Stress Related Injuries (Jul/Aug-17)
Lockout-Tagout from a Managerís Perspective (May/Jun-17)
Do Your Employees Really Know How to Use Personal Protective Equipment? (Mar/Apr-17)
OSHA & Lockout/Tagout (Nov/Dec-16)
OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers (Jul/Aug-16)
Do You Know What Your Experience Modification Rate Is? (May/Jun-16)
Machine Safety (Sep/Oct-15)
Lockout, Tagout & Tryout Ė Are You in Compliance? (Jul/Aug-15)
Forklift Safety Practices (May/Jun-15)
Using the Right Power Saw to Cut Plastic Materials (Mar/Apr-15)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-15)
Ergonomics (Sep/Oct-14)
Respiratory Protection . . . Does Your Program Protect? (May/Jun-14)
First Aid Program (Mar/Apr-14)
Working with Composite Materials Safely and Preventing Dermatitis (Jan/Feb-14)
Preventing Winter Slips, Trips and Falls (Nov/Dec-13)
The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication Ė Are You Ready For It? (Sep/Oct-13)
Safety & New Employee Orientation (Jul/Aug-13)
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety (May/Jun-13)
Posting of OSHA Notices (Jan/Feb-13)
Staying Safe This Winter (Nov/Dec-12)
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR Ė Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety Ė Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When Youíve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
Select issue:


Ladders are useful tools, but if you do not follow the proper safety tips, you could hurt yourself. In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 547,000 people were treated in hospital emerge006Ecy rooms, doctorsí offices, clinics and other medical settings in 2007 because of injuries related to ladder use. Most injuries are cuts, bruises and fractured bones.

Did you know that even a six-foot fall from a ladder can kill you?

More often, you might break an arm or leg. When you fall off a ladder on a construction site, you can land on almost anything, so internal injuries are common. Falls from ladders happen because you slip or because the ladder slips. If youíre in a hurry, thereís more chance of falling. Take the time to use the right ladder the correct way.

To reduce your chance of injury, follow the safety information listed below:

1. More than half of all ladder accidents happen because the ladder slips. What are some ways to keep a ladder from slipping?

  • Place the ladder on a firm, level surface that isnít slippery.
  • Use a ladder with safety feet, especially if youíre setting it on a smooth floor.
  • Always secure a portable ladder. Nail it to a permanent structure, tie it off or block it.
  • Make sure the ladderís supports (feet and upper risers) are free of grease and mud.
  • If the ladder is leaning against a smooth surface, have wall grips on the risers to prevent side slipping.
  • Make sure the ladder is leaning against something secure (not a gutter, window sash, window pane or anything that can move).
  • Donít set a ladder on top of boxes or other movable objects.
  • Never use a ladder in high winds.
  • Barricade a ladder if itís in an area where it could get bumped. For example, donít use a ladder in front of a door that might open, unless there is a barricade or guard.
  • Make sure your ladder is at the correct angleónot too steep and not too horizontal.

2. What is the correct angle for a ladder?

  • Set it one foot out for every four feet of ladder length.

3. Nearly a third of all ladder accidents happen because a person slips. What are some things you can do to keep yourself from slipping?

  • Use a ladder with non-skid treads (or a non-skid coating) on the rungs.
  • Make sure the rungs are free of mud, grease and other slippery material.
  • Make sure your shoes are free of mud and grease.
  • When youíre on a ladder, donít lean too far outónever beyond armís length.

4. When going up or down a ladder, always:

  • Face the ladder.
  • Use both hands.
  • Donít try to adjust an extension ladder when youíre standing on a surface above it.
  • Donít stand or work on the top three rungs of a straight ladder unless youíre using a safety belt. At the top, thereís nothing to grip.
  • Donít step on any rung above a ladderís upper support. It may cause the bottom of the ladder to kick out.
  • Donít stand or work at the top of a stepladder.
  • If you use a stepladder, make sure itís fully open and locked.

5. How should you carry tools or materials up or down a ladder?

  • Use a tool belt to keep your hands free.
  • Pull equipment and materials up with a line.

6. To make sure your ladder is in good repair, you should inspect it before and after each job. When you inspect a ladder, what should you look for?

  • All rungs are connected securely to the side rails.
  • No rungs or side rails are missing, loose, broken, cracked or corroded.
  • No nails, screws or rivets are sheared off or missing.
  • There are no splinters.

7. What if a ladder is defective?

  • If you ever notice an unsafe ladder, report it right away.
  • The employer should remove defective ladders from service and tag them.
  • Some employers destroy defective ladders to make sure no one uses them.

8. People say to ďuse the right ladder for the job.Ē What are some things to keep in mind when youíre choosing a ladder?

  • Use a ladder that is safety-approved. Look for a label showing that it meets American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety requirements.
  • Use a ladder of the right length. The side rails should extend at least three feet, but not more than four feet, above the ladderís upper support.
  • Use a ladder thatís strong enough for you and the job.
  • Never splice two ladders together.
  • Donít let more than one person at a time on a ladder unless youíre using a ladder thatís specially designed for that purpose.
  • Donít use a metal ladder near live electrical parts or within six feet of high voltage electrical lines. (Increase the distance for very high voltage). Remember that electricity can arc. Portable metal ladders should have a warning label on them to remind you.
  • Donít use a ladder for anything but its intended purpose. For example, donít use it as a brace or skid. Donít use it horizontally as a walkway or scaffold.

Need more information on safety in the workplace? As a reader of our magazine, we will answer any OSHA related questions that you may have. Please feel free to write or call me at 612-801-1032 and say you read this article in the magazine and we will help.

For more information,

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