Construction business owners or managers need to make sure that their employees follow the ladder safety standards created by OSHA. These measures are designed to avoid dangerous accidents and keep your employees from serious accidents. Following them requires careful training that ensures you don’t miss any important guidelines.
Following the advice below will ensure that your company meets these exact standards and that your employees are safe. OSHA’s standards can be very detailed and somewhat overwhelming at times. However, with proper training, your employees will embrace them with an ease that makes them second nature to everyone in your company.
5 Ways to Ensure You Meet OSHA Safety Standards for Ladders
#1. Accept the Importance of These Standards
The process for meeting these safety standards isn’t incredibly detailed or precise. It starts by fully understanding the nature of OSHA’s regulations for ladders and knowing how to implement them on your work site. Then, you need to find a way to train your employees to meet these standards. Thankfully, there are multiple ways you can do this.
More importantly, make sure that you don’t ignore the importance of these standards or discard them after getting the certification. OSHA ladder certification is an essential way of keeping your work site as safe as possible.
#2. Understand the Basic OSHA Requirements for Ladder Safety
OSHA provides a variety of different guidelines that you must follow to ensure on-site safety. For example, whenever there is a break in elevation of 19 or more inches, you must provide a stairway or ladder for your employees. This rule goes into play only if there is are no ramps, runways, embankments, or hoists available.
All ladders must be kept clear of dangerous obstacles to make them easier to climb. For example, there should be no debris at the bottom or top of the ladder that makes them difficult to climb.
It is also necessary to use double-cleated ladders when they are the only way to enter or exit a work area. Then, the rungs must be parallel, leveled, and uniformly spaced to ensure a decreased risk of falling.
Other rules include keeping ladder rungs free of oil, avoiding maximum loading, keeping them secured by one or more employee, and keeping them off of slippery surfaces. While most of these OSHA rules are relatively easy to understand and sometimes obvious, it is important to comprehend them fully before starting.
#3. Assessing Your Ladder Safety
OSHA ladder safety requirements are complex and require a careful assessment of the quality of your employees’ ladder use. For example, your employees need to know how to use a duo safety ladder and understand NIOSH ladder safety techniques. These methods include using straps to hold the ladder in place against a stationary object.
Get a copy of the ladder safety guidelines by OSHA and read through all the instructions. Use these as a guide for checking your OSHA compliance. For example, you should use a tape measure to check all the proper positioning and locations on your ladders.
Your employees might think you are crazy, but you are working to protect their lives. Getting certified in ladder safety by OSHA not only improves your safety but can also decrease your insurance cost.
If necessary, contact an OSHA official and have them inspect your work site for ladder safety. They can give you a general assessment of these aspects and guide you towards minimizing danger. It may cost you a little bit of money, but it is more than worth it.
#4. Training Your Employees
If you are concerned that your employees aren’t following OSHA standards for ladder safety, it is worth taking some time to train them. This process can take several days and may frustrate or annoy your employees. However, it is worth this minor inconvenience, as it will provide you with a guide towards protecting your employees from harm.
In some instances, you may be able to get an OSHA official to come to your site and offer you training. They can provide your employees with certification help for various types of ladders, including those on farms, wooden ladders, and even extension ladders. By fully understanding these types of ladders and getting hands-on time with them, your employees can master ladder safety.
However, online ladder safety training is an excellent choice for many people. OSHA offers an outreach program that gives you and your employees a full immersion in ladder safety. You will learn all the various guidelines and regulations, how to implement them, and other ladder safety tips that will protect them from making serious mistakes.
These online programs are also fairly inexpensive. One costs as little as $69 and another about $169. These comprehensive courses are an essential part of creating a safe and reliable use of ladders on your construction site. While you could always benefit from an on-site OSHA official, these online courses are less expensive.
#5. Take the Test
After following these steps, it is important to take the plunge and pay for the OSHA certification test. This test will help you understand important questions about safe ladder use. For example, it can answer the question “what is the working length of a ladder?” and give your employees and insight into why that matters.
If your company does not pass the certification test, don’t worry. You can always take it again. The test is not designed to punish you or take away your ability to earn a living. Instead, it will help you create a safer and more efficient work environment.
By following these simple steps, you can improve your OSHA safety standards and keep your employees safe. Even better, you can get a certification that showcases your company safety to potential customers. In this way, you may be able to find more people who are interested in hiring you.
So, if you own a construction company or manage one, you need to do what you can to get certification from OSHA for your ladder safety. And if you liked this article or know someone who could benefit from it, please share it online. You might just help them save the health or even the lives of their employees.