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    Ladder safety training hits home for instructors

    Ladder safety training hits home for instructors

    Photo By Brannen Parrish | Greg Snider, industrial hygienist, Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...... read more read more



    Story by Brannen Parrish 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District

    While instructing a ladder safety class at the Oklahoma State University Okmulgee campus, April 23, a Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers industrial hygienist related how an investigation involving a fatality from a fall changed his perspective on ladder safety.

    Greg Snider, who works in the Safety Office, said he received call to perform an investigation into the circumstances surrounding an employee who died after falling from a ladder in 2021.

    The investigation revealed that the employee fell after climbing above the top rung of a folding stepladder. Users should never climb on or above the top rung or top cap of a folding stepladder, Snider said.

    “That fatality put it home to me that you could fall off of a ladder and die,” said Snider. “It’s not worth it.”

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 500,000 people are treated for injuries, and more than 300 people die each year from falls from ladders.

    The employee’s work section transferred the ladder to the Tulsa District Safety Office for use in ladder safety training. When the Safety Office conducts ladder safety training, they bring the ladder and talk about the event that cost a USACE employee his life.

    “When we conduct ladder safety training, it serves as a reminder that we lost a colleague from a fall,” said David Ford, safety specialist, Tulsa District. “We want to honor that employee and prevent any other employees from getting injured or worse because of a fall.

    Tips for Portable Ladder Safety
    1. Be sure to use the appropriate ladder for the task at hand. Different applications, locations and workers require different ladders.
    2. Inspect ladders before use to ensure they are in good working order.
    a. Check for missing or loose rungs or steps.
    b. No damaged or worn feet.
    c. Ensure screws, bolts or nuts should be tight.
    d. Check for faulty spreaders, locks, or metal parts.
    e. No cracks and no worn or broken rails and braces.
    f. Ensure all identification labels are on the ladder.
    g. Check for wear and tear damage as well as weather damage.
    3. Use fiberglass ladders when working near electricity or overhead power lines as fiberglass side rails are electrically non-conductive.
    4. Be sure ladder feet are on firm, level ground and use spur plates for penetrable surfaces like soil.
    5. Be careful if wearing a tool belt to prevent tools from catching when climbing.
    6. Do not go under a ladder when someone else is using it.
    7. Footwear should have non-slip soles and should be free of mud, oil, or anything slippery.
    8. Don’t move a ladder with materials on it as they could fall damaging the tool or causing injury.
    9. Position ladders away from doors or areas where there is foot traffic, or block off these areas while using ladders.
    10. Climb the ladder facing the ladder and center your body between the rails.
    11. Maintain a firm grip.
    12. Never hurry skip steps when climbing a ladder.
    13. Do not climb a ladder while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    14. Do not place blocks, bricks or loose materials under a ladder to adjust for uneven ground.
    15. Don’t overreach, lean to one side or stand on one foot while on the ladder.
    16. Only one person should be on a ladder at a time.
    17. Don’t climb down with your back to the ladder.
    18. Don’t climb on or off the ladder from the side.
    19. Never use water-soaked wood ladders near electric lines.
    20. Don’t stand above the highest safe standing level and never stand or sit on the top step or cap of a step ladder.
    21. Don’t try to move a ladder while on it by bouncing or “walking” the ladder.
    22. Open the stepladder fully and lock both spreaders before use.
    23. Do not use an extension ladder in the horizontal or flat position and never use it as a bridge.
    24. When using an extension ladder use the four to one rule: for every four feet of height, keep the base of the ladder one foot from the structure.
    25. Always maintain three points of contact when ascending or descending a ladder.



    Date Taken: 04.29.2024
    Date Posted: 04.29.2024 13:37
    Story ID: 469769
    Location: TULSA, OKLAHOMA, US

    Web Views: 72
    Downloads: 0