Construction Worker Safety Tips
The facts speak for themselves. Falls from high places are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. One of the best ways to prevent these accidents is by providing training on how to be safer on the job. Here are a few on-the-job tips that can help you prevent a workplace fall.
- Choose the Right Ladder: Choosing a ladder that is tall enough and made from the right materials is crucial to on-the-job safety. For example, if you will be working near any electrical components, it is imperative you choose a fiberglass ladder. You also want to have the right type of ladder. Sometimes a regular stepladder will do the job. Other times, you need an extension ladder. Workers often find that adjustable ladders are convenient since they can be used as a stepladder or extension ladder. There is also a new ladder out there, the 3-in-1 (combination) ladder. Combination ladders are lightweight and can safely be used as a leaning ladder, stepladder or extension ladder. By having the right kind of ladder with the correct weight rating for you and all your materials, you and your team will be safer on the job.
- Use the Equipment Correctly: We always recommend that you follow the “belt buckle” rule, which means you should keep your belt buckle firmly between the side rails. When your body extends beyond that point, it can cause ladder destabilization. Furthermore, you should never stand on the top rung or top cap, and you should maintain three points of contact when climbing the ladder.
- Take the Correct Precautions: When it comes to basic precautions, always choose quality equipment. Before use, ensure that you inspect your ladder, regardless of the initial quality of the equipment, checking for signs of damage. While working, avoid unnecessary risks. However, if a risk is necessary for the task’s completion, proceed with extra caution and find ways to minimize the risks as much as possible.
- Choose Safety: Periodically, we see ladder “fail” images on social media. Still, despite the inherent dangers posed in these photos and videos, many of the commenters laugh it off or praise the “creativity” of the individuals who are working dangerously. Although some of these precarious photos can be humorous, it is important to remember the dangers of unsafe ladder use. If getting the job done quickly is considered more important than getting the job done safely, it will be challenging to make any progress in the industry. Contractors need to find a balance between these two dichotomies, so their teams can get home safely after a day of hard work.
Changing safety dynamics of ladder use on the job site starts with contractors and subcontractors. If construction companies begin actively following these four tips, the amount of ladder injuries would decrease.
At Little Giant Ladders, we make safety our top priority. If you are ready to start improving your team’s ladder safety on construction sites, contact a member of our team. We would be happy to help you and your team work safer on your ladders.