Monday, March 15, 2010

Ladder Safety Quiz

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
It’s ladder safety quiz time: How many problems can you spot in this photo?

Here are a few for starters:

1 - This is a “step ladder” not a straight ladder. It is intended by the manufacturer to be used in a fully open configuration, with the spreader bars locked. Physically, a large part of the load weight is being supported by the thinner “back legs” but that weight is being transmitted to the body of the ladder via the rivets and pivot pins in the top cap – a load these parts were not designed to support.

2 – The top step and the top “cap” are both clearly marked “Don’t stand or sit here”. ‘Nuff said.

3 – What is the worker leaning on? The thin, metal support members for a suspended ceiling are not meant to support the weight of a human, from any direction.

4 – How about the worker’s shoes? We’re not talking fashion statement here: but for work on ladders, shoes with at least a 1” inch heel are recommended. The heel will prevent your foot from slipping off the ladder treads. Also a steel shank in the instep is a great idea – to disperse the weight over a greater area of the sole of your foot. Flexible shoe soles – as on the apparent “jogging shoes” being worn here – bend over the ladder rungs, and can either quickly fatigue or even cause an injury to the arch of your foot.

Ladder safety is just one of the topics covered in depth during Evergreen Safety Council’s Safety and Health Specialist series of classes. Contact us to enroll in this widely recognized certification program.

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