Ladders are one of the most widely used and necessary pieces of equipment on a construction jobsite. They’re also one of the most misused and abused pieces of equipment on a jobsite. In addition to being one of the most frequently cited OSHA violations each year, it also accounts for too many of the industry’s yearly fatalities and countless injuries.
The American Ladder Institute has official begun its 3rd annual National Ladder Safety Month (NSLM), which started February 24 and ends on March 31. The purpose of NLSM is, of course, to reduce ladder-related injuries and fatalities, which helped by building awareness and giving better access to training opportunities. The program is not only directed at ladder use at work, but also at home.
National Ladder Safety Month Weekly Schedule
February 24 - March 2: What is Ladder Safety?
March 3 - 9: Ladder Safety Training and Year Round Partners
March 10 - 16: Ladder Safety at Work
March 17 - 23: Ladder Safety at Home
March 24 - 31: Ladder Inspection and Disposal
Ladder Safety Resources
There are a variety of great – and free - resources available to you and your crew for construction related ladder safety training.
This site was also created by the American Ladder Institute and contains a variety of training materials, including interactive training modules, including stepladders, single and extension ladders, articulated ladders, and mobile ladders. Each free module lasts between 15 and 30 minutes.
Since smartphones are one of the most widely used tools on the jobsite these days, NIOSH has released a free application called Ladder Safety. In addition to giving workers immediate access to ladder safety tips and resources right on their phone, it also can assist in proper ladder positioning. The app is available on both Android and Apple. You can watch the video below for more information on the app.
COWR is one of my favorite safety resources because it offers a wide variety of useful tools that are easy to find. In addition to their ladder safety toolbox talks, which are just a few of the more than 55 free ones they offer, they also provide some good videos and tip sheets. Below is an example of one of the videos.
Obviously any conversation on safety is backed by the laws and regulations enforced by OSHA, but OSHA also has a variety of other resources that are beyond the book. For example, they put together an eTool on ladder safety complete with pictures. They also have a lot of Quick Cards, which are printable and easy to read safety tips, available for ladder safety, among many other topics.