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Ladder Inspection and Safety Themes for Construction

Ladder Inspection and Safety Themes for Construction

There are a few pieces of equipment that are quite common in various construction settings, and one of the single most frequent is the ladder. Anyone utilizing a ladder on a construction site (or really, anywhere) needs to know how to do so properly and safely, as personal safety risks can arise quickly if this is not the case.

At Redi, safety is a huge part of all of our industrial construction services and programs - we even offer dedicated safety training services to any client looking to improve competencies among their entire staff. What are some of the most important inspection and safety themes when it comes to ladders on any construction site, and how should anyone operating on this jobsite be considering them? Here's a simple primer.

Ladder Standards

There are three sets of standards defined by the OSHA when it comes to ladder usage and inspections:

OSHA standard 1910.23: This standard covers the general use of ladders on the worksite

OSHA standard 1926.1053: This covers the proper use and maintenance of ladders on construction sites

OSHA standard 1910.30: This standard discusses safety training for all personnel that will be working with ladders

These standards are the backbone of ladder safety on any construction site, and it is essential for all involved to have a full understanding of them.

Ladder Inspections

Per OSHA standard 1910.23, which we mentioned above, ladders should be inspected before each shift - or more often as necessary - to ensure that they are in proper working order. This includes checking for missing pieces, cracks in the material, and any other damage or signs of wear-and-tear that could make them unsafe for use.

As any inspections are being conducted, be sure to have the correct safety equipment on hand as well. This includes gloves, hard hats, safety harnesses, and anything else necessary for safe operation of the ladder - per OSHA standard 1926.1053.

Logging Inspections

Another important piece of ladder safety is logging all inspections that have taken place. This ensures a full record of any changes that have been made, as well as providing a reference for any future operations related to the specific ladder in question.

By keeping an accurate log of every single inspection and repair job that has been completed, you can stay up to date on the condition of each ladder on the construction site at any given time.

Parts to Inspect on Specific Ladders

Depending on the type of ladder being used, there are different components that need to be checked during each safety inspection. For example, an extension ladder should have all its locks and hinges inspected for proper operation; any damage or malfunction here could cause the entire ladder to collapse when in use.

For a step ladder, it's important to inspect the spreader bars and braces, as these are crucial for providing the ladder with stability. Additionally, check for any damage to the steps themselves - such as cracks or splintering - that could lead to slips and falls if not addressed in a timely manner.

It's also important to make sure the ladder is placed on even ground before use; OSHA standard 1910.30 dictates that any person working with ladders must use a level platform as the starting point.

How to Manage Inspected Ladders

Once ladders have gone through the inspection process, it is essential to manage them properly. This means labeling ladders that have been deemed safe for use, as well as having a dedicated storage area for those that are not in good enough condition to use - per OSHA standard 1910.23.

It's important to note that these ladders should never be used again until they have been properly serviced and inspected again, no matter how minor the issue may seem.

Basic Ladder Use Guidelines

In addition to inspection, there are a few additional guidelines that need to be followed when using any type of ladder in a construction setting. Some of the most important include:

  • Choosing the proper ladder: Make sure you use the right ladder for the job, and never attempt any task with a ladder that is not rated to handle it.
  • Always wear safety equipment: Hard hats, gloves, and any other protective gear should always be worn when working on ladders.
  • Check weight capacity limits: Each type of ladder has its own weight limit - do not exceed this.
  • Regularly inspect ladders: As we mentioned earlier, ladders need to be inspected before each shift, or whenever it is deemed necessary.
  • Always have a spotter: Having someone who can observe you while working on a ladder greatly reduces the risk of an accident.

Storing Ladders After Use

Another key component of maintaining ladder safety is properly storing these pieces of equipment after use. This means quickly cleaning off any debris or dirt, as well as ensuring the locks and hinges are in good working order before putting it away.

Additionally, be sure to store ladders in a cool, dry place; never leave them out in the rain or direct sunlight for extended periods of time, as this can cause damage to the material.

Ladder safety is an important aspect of working in a construction setting and should never be overlooked. By following the guidelines outlined above, you can help ensure that everyone on your worksite stays safe while using ladders for various tasks.

For more here, or to learn about any of our industrial construction services for varying needs, speak to our team at Redi today.

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