March is National Ladder Safety Month

According to the American Ladder Institute, ladder safety affects everyone. Whether you’re using a ladder at home or at work, take safety into your own hands by making ladder safety a priority. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 137+ ladder injuries happen every day
  • An average of 113 deaths are caused by falls each year
  • The most common ladder falls happen between 6 and 10 feet off the ground

The 2 most common ladder accidents include:

  • Missing the last step when climbing down
  • Overreaching

Even when using a ladder at home, be sure not to confuse common ladder rights and wrongs.

WRONG: “My weight hasn’t changed in years; I don’t need to worry about the ladder’s weight rating.”

RIGHT: Weight rating is the combined weight of the climber and whatever the climber is carrying. Do not forget to account for equipment or accessories when selecting a ladder with the proper weight rating.

WRONG: “I have some heavy items that I’ll be carrying as I climb this ladder. Let me get a taller one to carry the load.”

RIGHT: A taller ladder does NOT equate to a higher weight rating. To ensure that you are using the right ladder for the job, make sure that you are taking into account the Duty Rating for your ladder. The Duty Rating is the total amount of weight your ladder will support. Here is the simple calculation for determining the Duty Rating needed for the job at hand:

  • Your weight; plus
  • The weight of your clothing and protective equipment; plus
  • The weight of tools and supplies you are using

WRONG: “I don’t work at high heights, I don’t need to worry about ladder and fall safety.”

RIGHT: More often than not, ladder injures are caused by people using them incorrectly rather than the height at which they were using them.

Ladders are #6 on OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations list. Helmkamp employees are expected to follow the company’s ladder policy and procedures in the Helmkamp safety manual and to contact Luke with any questions.

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