8 Tips to Prevent Stepladder Accidents

As we celebrate our 100th year in business in 2015, we embark on another century of commitment to our policyholders. Our mission is to protect the livelihoods of our policyholders, and, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In keeping with that theme, we’ll celebrate our 100th year in business with 100 important tips to help identify, evaluate and prevent dangers that could result in financial loss or injury in a year-long “Safe with Society” blog series.

Accident studies have shown that ladders are involved in more than 300 fatalities and about 100,000 injuries each year. Stepladders are involved in a high percentage of these falls. Does this mean that stepladders are unsafe? Not if they are set up, used, and maintained properly.

Most stepladder accidents involve unsafe practices and conditions. It is up to everyone to ensure that the equipment they use is in good physical condition and that they are using it properly.

Here is a list of 8 ways to prevent some of the most common stepladder accidents:

  1. Do not stand on the top two steps of a stepladder. If you must go higher to perform your work, use a taller ladder.
  2. Make sure that all four legs of the stepladder are on even footing, and that the spreader is fully opened.
  3. Use the best tool for the job. Don’t use a stepladder as a straight ladder. The legs are not designed for this, which can result in the base kicking out.
  4. Make sure that stepladder is set in the best position to perform the work. If you must reach or bend excessively, stop and reposition the ladder.
  5. Do not use a metal ladder near electrical conductors.
  6. Face the ladder when working. Do not straddle the top or stand with your back to the rungs.
  7. Inspect stepladders for damage daily. Cracked steps and uprights or loose or missing parts can cause the ladder to collapse.
  8. If a stepladder is broken, remove it from service or destroy it to prevent future use. Do not attempt to repair a broken stepladder.

Click here for a helpful handout on stepladder safety to share with your employees.

Our risk control team is available to help facilitate your safety and health efforts. Learn more about this collaborative and consultative partnership, as well as the exclusive safety resources developed to keep your workplace safe and profitable.

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