The month of March is now devoted to a new campaign designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.
Every year over 300 people die in ladder-related accidents, and thousands suffer disabling injuries, according to the American Ladder Institute.
Now, the organization is the presenting sponsor of the first-ever National Ladder Safety Month, which is bringing “heightened awareness to the importance of the safe use of ladders through resources, training and a national dialogue.”
Electrician construction workers routinely use extension ladders in their work, and Wesley L. Wheeler, the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Director of Safety, says choosing the right ladder for a job and using it properly is important for all workers to remain safe at work.
“With proper training to inspect, set up and use a ladder, workers can perform their tasks safely and efficiently,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler added that it’s important for workers who use a ladder to be familiar with the manufacturer’s instructions and proper ratings of the ladders, so they do not overload the ladder and risk injury.
This week, March 12-18, the campaign’s focus area is ladder safety at work. Future weeks will focus on ladder safety at work as well as ladder inspection and disposal. The first 11 days of March were dedicated to the overall importance of ladder safety.
The goals of National Ladder Safety Month are to:
- Increase the number of ladder safety training certificates issued by ALI
- Increase the frequency that ladder safety training modules are viewed on www.laddersafetytraining.org
- Lower the rankings of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s yearly “Top 10 Citations List”
- Decrease number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities
- Increase the number of competent ladder inspector trainings
- Increase the number of companies and individuals that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has developed a free smart phone app to help contractors scale the necessary heights more safely. The app for mobile devices is available through the NIOSH website, the Apple App Store and the Android Market. Read more about the app.
You can also connect the national campaign on social media and use the hashtag #laddersafetymonth. Go to www.laddersafetymonth.com for more information.