WorkSafeBC has released six new ladder safety videos to remind workers, employers and homeowners to use ladders safely.
“Last year, more than 1,000 workers were seriously injured in falls from height, including while using step ladders, extension ladders and scaffolding,” said Dan Strand, director of prevention field services for WorkSafeBC. “The new videos and our ladder safety resources illustrate how the right ladder, the correct positioning and hazard assessments could prevent a life-changing serious injury or death.”
From 2012 to 2016, six workers died and there were 4,920 accepted time-loss claims — including 1,634 serious injuries — as a result of falls from ladders across all industries in British Columbia.
WorkSafeBC recommends employers select the right ladder for the job and ensure the ladder is long enough to extend 1 metre above the upper landing. The ladder should be placed on a firm, level surface and inspected before each use, for things like cracks or loose rungs, to ensure it’s in good working condition.
Workers might need to be reminded to always maintain three points of contact while climbing a ladder: two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot. They should not carry heavy or bulky objects while climbing up or down a ladder, work from the top two rungs of the ladder or have more than one worker on a ladder at once.
Wind, rain and snow may pose additional hazards that need to be mitigated. It’s also important to check for power lines and ensure a minimum distance of 3 metres can be maintained at all times before starting work, said WorkSafeBC.
This product write-up originally appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of COS.