023: Ladder Safety | Overreaching and costly injuries

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The Dangers of overreaching on a Ladder

Overreaching is a common ladder safety hazard. It occurs when a person tries to reach too high while standing on a ladder, causing them to lose their balance and fall. Overreaching can also occur when a person tries to move the ladder while they are still on it, instead of getting down and repositioning the ladder first. Both of these scenarios can result in serious injury or even death. 

Unfortunately, in today’s episode of the OSHA Oops! Podcast, we’re talking about a company that was fined over $10k for an employee who was injured while overreaching on a ladder. With proper safety training, this employee would have known the dangers associated with overreaching and the fine could have been avoided. 


Ladder Safety Training – Why is it important?

Ladders are often used in a variety of settings, both commercial and residential. While they can be a helpful tool, ladders can also be dangerous if they are not used properly. Every year, thousands of people are injured in ladder-related accidents. Some of the most common injuries include cuts, bruises, and broken bones. In severe cases, people have even been known to die after falling from a ladder. The following are a few ladder safety tips pulled from our ladder safety lesson. If you would like access to our full ladder safety lesson and hundreds more, please contact us.

Ladder Safety Tips:

  • Select the proper ladder for the job
  • Avoid electrical hazards – do not use a metal ladder around exposed energized electrical equipment.
  • Thoroughly inspect the ladder before use.
    • Check joints between steps and side rails.
    • Make sure ladder rung is free from oil or grease
    • Check for splints, loose bolts, or any defective or damaged parts
  • Remove defective ladders from services for repair or replacement
  • Use the ladder only as designed
  • Use proper erecting and positioning procedures, to ensure:
    • Foot support
    • Top support 
    • Ladder security
    • Safe angle of inclination
  • Wear appropriate attire and PPE
  • Do not erect ladders in front of unlocked doors
  • Do not lean out or overreach while on the ladder
  • Ask for a helper to support the base of the ladder to added stability

If your company needs safety training, along with OSHA defense and many other safety services, please call 1-800-734-3574 for more details.