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					Ladder safety It’s a Long Fall Down
If the injury involved a fracture, treatment may have included a lot more than just taking it easy. "Many of these fractures are very complex and require extensive surgery,” “These fractures of hands, wrists, ankles and feet can require future surgeries, rehab and lifelong arthritis or chronic pain.” (NIOSH) classifies ladder falls under three broad categories:
  

incidents in which the wrong ladder was used to do a job incidents in which the ladder failed due to the physical condition of the ladder or its supporting surface incidents in which the ladder was improperly used

Sixteen Steps to Safety Awareness Before you set up the ladder… 1. ensure it suits the task at hand. If you’re using it around electricity, it must be made of wood or Fiberglas 2. check the duty rating on the ladder’s safety label. The rating indicates the maximum weight load the ladder can safely hold. This rating corresponds to the total weight of the climber, plus the weight of all tools and gear the climber will bring onto the ladder. Can’t read the safety label? Can’t find it? Don’t use the ladder. It may be too old to be used safely

3. select the right size. To determine the highest standing level required, measure the total height you would like to reach and subtract the climber’s height 4. inspect it before use. Check for loose hinges or rungs, and clean off any foreign substances (e.g., mud, grease) 5. check for obstacles, such as electrical wires and tree limbs 6. avoid positioning the ladder near any door that is not properly locked, secured or guarded Before you climb… 7. stabilize the ladder. Ensure it always has 4-point contact with the working surface, and proportional pressure on each leg. Place it on a firm, level surface, never on ground that is uneven. If the working surface is slippery or unstable, tie or strap the ladder to the rear surface at the top and bottom. If these requirements are too restrictive, you’re probably using the wrong ladder 8. always engage the ladder locks or braces before climbing the ladder 9. wear-slip resistant shoes and ensure your hands and feet are dry When you climb… 10. always face the ladder when climbing up or down. Centre your body between the side rails. Maintain a firm grip and use both hands when climbing 11. always maintain three points of contact with the ladder, e.g., with two feet and one hand 12. centre your weight within the rails of the ladder 13. avoid reaching at any time, since it can cause the ladder to topple over. Aim to keep your belt buckle within the side rails 14. never use ladders in strong wind When you’re finished… 15. store ladders in sheltered, dry, well-ventilated areas to prevent weather damage, such as rust and warping 16. support ladders horizontally on racks. To prevent sagging, support ladders every 2 meters. Do not hang ladders from rails or rungs


				
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posted:6/25/2009
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