Let's Talk About Safety by fjzhangweiqun

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                                        Let’s Talk About Safety
Bechtel Telecommunications                                                                                               August 4, 2003

I


Portable ladders are one of the handiest, simplest tools we use. Because of their effectiveness, ladders are used by many different people to
perform many different tasks. Although ladders are very uncomplicated, planning and care are still required to use them safely. Each year in
the U.S., accidents involving ladders cause an estimated 300 deaths and 130,000 injuries requiring emergency medical attention.

Ladder Hazards
Ladder accidents usually are caused by improper selection, care or use, not by manufacturing defects. Some of the more common hazards
involving ladders, such as instability, electrical shock, and falls, can be predicted and prevented. Prevention requires proper planning, correct
ladder selection, good work procedures and adequate ladder maintenance.
Quick Prevention tips:
     •    Do not hand-carry loads on a ladder.
     •    Do not try reaching so far that you lose your balance; move the ladder.
     •    Non-skid feet or spurs may prevent a ladder from slipping on a hard, smooth surface.
     •    Do not stand on the ladder's top three rungs.
     •    A damaged side rail may cause one side of a ladder to give way.
     •    The base should be spaced 1 foot away for every 4 feet it reaches up (see Figure 1).
     •    Ladders used to reach a walking surface or roof must extend at least 3 feet beyond.
     •    Extension ladders need both locks holding to prevent overloading a rail.
     •    Step ladders should be securely spread open. Never use a folding step ladder in an unfolded position.
     •    Electrical shock can occur with metal or wet wooden ladders. Not only is the shock itself dangerous, but it can cause falls resulting
          in injury.

The Five Rules of Ladder Safety:
Rule 1: Select The Right Ladder For The Job
There are many types of ladders available, each intended for a specific purpose. In addition, they may be of wood, aluminum or fiberglass
construction and designed for light to industrial use. For typical applications, the most common are straight ladders (single or extension) and
step ladders. Regardless of the type or construction, be sure the ladder has a label certifying that it complies with specifications of the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and that it is listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Be sure the ladder is long enough to
work from comfortably and sturdy enough to withstand repeated use. Wood or fiberglass ladders are not as "shaky" as aluminum ladders.
Aluminum ladders also conduct electricity and are not a good choice in many situations.

Rule 2: Inspect The Ladder BEFORE You Use It
Any ladder can develop a problem which can render it unsafe. Each time you use a ladder, inspect it for loose or damaged rungs, steps, rails
or braces. Also check for loose screws, bolts, hinges and other hardware. Make certain the spreaders on stepladders can be locked in place
and that the ladder has safety feet which will provide more stability and reduce the chances of the ladder slipping while you work.
If the ladder has any type of defect, it must be repaired or the ladder must be replaced. Never use a ladder which is defective. A painted
wood ladder may have defects which are hidden by the paint. Painting a wood ladder is not recommended however, it can be treated with
clear materials such as varnish and wood preservatives.

Rule 3: Climb And Descend Ladders Cautiously
Always face the ladder and hold on with both hands. If you need tools, carry them in a tool belt or raise and lower them with a hand line.
To avoid slipping, always check the rungs and the bottoms of your shoes for slippery substances. You may wish to apply a slip-resistant
material to the steps of a metal ladder to provide better footing.

                                •    Ladder rungs, cleats, or steps must be parallel, level, and uniformly spaced
                                     when the ladder is in position for use. Rungs must be spaced between 10 and
                                     14 inches apart.
                                •    Rungs must be so shaped that an employee's foot cannot slide off, and must
                                     be skid-resistant.



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Rule 4: Use Common Sense When Working On A Ladder
Always hold on with one hand and never reach too far to either side or to the rear. To maintain your balance, keep your belt buckle between
the ladder rails. Climbing too high can also lead to accidents, so never climb higher than the second step from the top on a stepladder or the
third from the top on a straight ladder.

                         Rule 5: Set Up The Ladder With Care
                         No matter how safe the ladder is, if it is placed in a dangerous location
                         or set up improperly an accident is bound to happen. If you must set
                         the ladder in a traffic area, use a barricade or guard to prevent
                         collisions. Lock or block any nearby door that opens toward you. The
                         area around the base should be kept uncluttered, and the ladder
                         should be set on a solid, level surface.

                         Stepladders should be fully opened with the spreaders locked. Straight
                         ladders should be placed at a four-to-one ratio. This means the base
                         of the ladder should be one foot away from the wall or other vertical
                         surface for every four feet of height to the point of support.

                           If you plan to climb onto a roof or platform from a ladder, be sure the
ladder extends above the edge at least three feet (see Figure 2). Non-self-supporting ladders,
which must lean against a wall or other support, are to be positioned at such an angle that the
horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about 1/4 the working length
of the ladder. If possible, secure a straight ladder as close to the point of support as possible to
prevent shifting. Never lean a ladder against an unstable surface.
Ladder Transportation and Storage
When one man is carrying a ladder by hand, the front of the ladder should be kept high enough to clear a man's head, especially around
corners, in aisles and through doorways. Reasonable care should be taken to avoid damaging a ladder at all times. Do not drop, toss or
throw a ladder. Use side stakes when hauling to prevent lateral swing and tie the ladder down securely. Drive slowly over rough terrain.

Ladders should be stored in well ventilated areas and in a manner that will prevent sagging and warping. Straight ladders are best stored in
flat racks or on wall brackets. Step ladders should be stored in the vertical, closed position. Wood ladders should be protected from
moisture, insect damage and excessive heat. Moisture and sun exposure are the two main enemies of wood ladders, and can rapidly
shorten the useful life of a ladder.

Helpful Hints

     •    When working on cylindrical objects like poles and columns, the top rung of portable ladders can be replaced with chain or rope to
          reduce rocking.

     •    Use the ladder inspection checklist (attached) to remind yourself of what you should look out for in order to prevent accidents.




                             *Thanks to Jeff Hamm, AWS ES&H Lead, for submitting this safety bulletin.




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Ladder Inspection Checklist

General                                                             Needs repair    O.K.      Date repaired


Loose steps or rungs (considered loose if they can be moved at
all with the hand)?                                                ____________ ___________ ____________


Loose nails, screws, bolts, or other metal parts?                  ____________ ____________ _____________


Cracked, spilt, or broken uprights, braces, or rungs?              ____________ ____________ _____________


Slivers on uprights, rungs, or steps?                              ____________ ____________ _____________


Damaged or worn non-slip bases?                                    ____________ ____________ _____________


Step ladders


Wobbly (from side strain)?                                         ____________ ____________ _____________


Loose or bent hinge spreaders?                                     ____________ ____________ _____________


Stop on hinge spreaders broken?                                    ____________ ____________ _____________


Loose hinges?                                                      ____________ ____________ _____________


Broken, split, or worn steps?                                      ____________ ____________ _____________


Extension ladders


Loose, broken, or missing extension locks?                         ____________ ____________ _____________


Defective locks that do not seat properly while extended?          ____________ ____________ _____________


Worn or rotted rope?                                               ____________ ____________ _____________




                                             (c) Bechtel Corporation 2004
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