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Construction Ladder Safety

In the last fiscal year OSHA reports there were 2,625 citations written concerning ladders. The

leading cause of deaths in construction is a fall. However, the design of the basic ladder has not
changed very much in hundreds of years! Yes, today we have wood, aluminum and fiberglass
constructed ladders and multi-position ladders such as the “Little Giant” brand. The basic
construction and use of a ladder has not changed though. OSHA has mandated employee
training, had manufactures place safety stickers on the ladders and requires documented
inspections on ladders. Yet, every year companies receive OSHA citations concerning use of
ladders and employees are injured and killed using ladders. Here are some statistics on ladder
injuries and the 4 most common ladder accidents;

Ladder Injury Statistics

  • According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of all ladder-related accidents were due to
    individuals carrying items as they climbed
  • Over the last 10 years the amount of ladder-related injuries has increased 50%
  • OSHA believes 100% of all ladder accidents could be prevented if proper attention to
    equipment and climber training were provided
  • These deaths account for 15% of all occupational deaths
  • Elevated falls account for almost 700 occupational deaths annually
  • More than 90,000 people receive emergency room treatment from ladder-related injuries
    every year
  • The most common type of ladder-related injury, with 32%, is fractures

4 Main Types of Ladder Accidents

  1. Selecting the Wrong Type of Ladder
  2. Using Worn or Damaged Ladders
  3. Incorrect Use of Ladders
  4. Incorrect Placement of Ladders

For detailed ladder safety requirements go to 29 CFR 1926.1053.

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