TOOLBOX TALK 36/60
TOPIC: STEP LADDERS
OBJECTIVE: TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF STEP LADDERS
Accident studies have shown that stepladders have been involved in a high percentage of the falls, especially builders, electricians, and painters. This does not mean that stepladders are unsafe – not if they are used properly.
Here are some ways to prevent some of the most common stepladder accidents:
- Don’t stand on the top two steps of a folding stepladder. If you must go higher to perform your work, use a taller ladder or scaffolding.
- Make sure that all four legs of the stepladder are on even footing and that the spreader is fully opened.
- 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.
- Make sure that your stepladder is latched in the best position to perform the work. If you must reach out or bend excessively, stop and reposition the ladder.
- Inspect stepladders for damage regularly. Cracked steps and uprights or loose or missing parts can result in total collapse of the ladder.
- If the stepladder is broken it should be removed from service, repaired or destroyed to prevent future use.
- Do not attempt to repair a broken stepladder!
- Do not loan company ladders to other contractors.
- Do not use a metal ladder near electrical conductors.
Questions you can use to get them talking:
- Do we have any defective stepladders on the job?
- Do we have the correct height stepladders on this job?
- Has anyone ever had an accident involving a stepladder?
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