Construction Depot Newsletter

Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

February 13, 2012

photograph of a step ladder

How ladder accidents happen

Every year, more workers are injured in falls from ladders than from any other elevated surface — including roofs, scaffolds, balconies, and even stairs. Why? Most falls happen because workers select the wrong type of ladder for their job or they set up the ladder improperly and the ladder unexpectedly shifts or slips. Or, their foot slips, they lose their balance, they overreach, or something knocks the ladder over.

Now, if you need help convincing skeptical co-workers or employers how ladder accidents really happen, you can share the details of every ladder accident reported to Oregon OSHA from 2007-2011. Oregon OSHA staffer Craig Hamelund recently summarized all OSHA 170 Fatality and Catastrophe Investigation Summaries involving ladders during those years. You’ll find the following summaries under Ladders on Oregon OSHA’s website:

Heads up construction-industry employers: If you have employees who use ladders, make sure that a competent person has trained them. Training must cover ladder hazards, how to use ladders, ladder capacities, and Oregon OSHA’s requirements for the ladders they use. A competent person is one who can identify existing and predictable hazards where employees work and who has authority to correct the hazards promptly.


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