Here is a jobsite example: Ryan was applying sheetrock mud to a wall and was standing on the top rung of a 12-foot ladder. He lost his balance, fell to the concrete floor, and landed on his head. He suffered a major head injury.
Ladders are involved in many accidents, some of which are fatal. Your life can literally depend on knowing how to inspect, use and care for this tool.
Ladder Safety Checklist
Look for the following faults:
- Loose or missing rungs or cleats
- Loose nails, bolts, or screws
- Wood splinters or damaged edges
- Cracked, broken, split, dented, or badly worn rungs, cleats, or side rails
- Corrosion of metal ladders or metal parts
If you find a ladder in poor condition, tag the ladder and take it out of service. If repairs are not feasible, the defective ladder should be removed from the job site.
Find a ladder and use the ladder safety checklist to inspect it for safety. Discuss in your group simple ways to make using ladders safer.
As a bonus, if there is a lift nearby, go see it and talk to the construction workers about the safety precautions they take.