Ladder TrainingMany accidents, and even deaths, from falling in the United States are preventable with the right training. Even using a ladder necessitates training in the correct ways of use and ways to prevent falls.

“Over 100,000 accidents from falls occur each year,” United Tool and Fastener Safety Training Specialist and OSHA Outreach Instructor, Charlie Gertson, said.

To prevent falls from ladders, safety training is necessary despite most people having used ladders since they could practically ride a bike. Few realize all the risks associated with ladders. United Tools and Fastener (UTF) offers expert, hands-on training at company sites or at the UTF training facility in Houston.

Accident prevention techniques and lessons often include scenarios the average person has not considered, yet are vitally important to construction safety.

Gertson often asks groups attending ladder safety training, “When was the first time you used or got on a ladder?” The answer he gets is “usually somewhere between the ages of four and eight”, with most people not receiving any special training.

But serious injury can occur by falling from a ladder, especially without adequate or proper training.

“People (incorrectly) think that if you aren’t high up (on a ladder), you can’t, or won’t, get hurt,” Werner Safety Specialist, Roger Davis, said. “That’s simply not true. It’s not the length of the fall; it’s how you fall.”

Gertson agreed.

“If you fall against concrete, the concrete will always win.”

Injury prevention occurs with the use of proper safety training in addition to proper product utilization.

Davis reiterated, “If you’re in doubt (about the safety of a ladder), take it out. You have to be certain the ladder you use if safe.”

There is a checklist to knowing a ladder is ready for use.

If a ladder has discoloration, surface rust, nicks or a bend on the back, it’s time to get rid of it and get another.

“Also, you can’t just throw a damaged ladder into the trash. You have to cut up the ladder into as many pieces as possible to throw it away. Do not even leave a step that could (possibly) be used as a short ladder,” Davis said.

There have been cases where people have gotten hurt because a ladder was not properly disposed of or was used incorrectly.

“You cannot use an A-frame ladder as a straight ladder. LEANSAFE™ by Werner is the only brand and type of ladder you can use in various ways,” Davis said.

LEANSAFE™ ladders are uniquely designed to securely lean against flat wall surfaces, wall corners, poles, and wall studs and perform as a standard stepladder. The LEANSAFE™ ladders comprise a two-color design and highly-visible LEANSAFE™ logos to make this ladder easily distinguishable from a standard stepladder.

To make sure your team is abreast of all ladder or fall-prevention safety, contact Safety Specialist Charlie Gertson to set up a ladder or fall-prevention safety demonstration.