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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
At Redi, we take each and every job that gets put in front of us seriously and are committed to providing our clients with the absolute best service around. Whatever job you need to be completed, we have the skills and expertise to get it done right. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer, and let's get started on the path to getting the job done right.
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