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Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, and every year, falls from ladders account for nearly a third of deaths, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
As part of its Fall Prevention Campaign, OSHA has published an illustrated, bilingual (English and Spanish) ebook on ladder safety aimed at Latinos and Millennials, whom the agency considers at high risk for fall injuries.
OSHA is hoping that putting the information in an electronic format will allow workers to easily read it on their smartphones while at the job site.
Although ladders are commonly used, they may not always be the best option. OSHA urges workers to consider:
“If your answer is yes to one of the above questions, consider using something other than a ladder,” the agency advised. It suggests bringing in other equipment, like a scissor lift, or, at the very least, using a platform step ladder with a working platform and hand-rail barricades on the sides.
Other safety measures to take when using ladders include:
Ladder Maintenance, Storage
Before using a ladder, check it carefully to ensure that there are no visible defects and that it is in good working condition. OSHA advises checking, maintaining and storing ladders according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not use ladders that are bent or missing a step or locking device for the spreader bars.
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Follow him @SHRMRoy
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