The Ups and Downs of Ladder Safety

ladder - croppedAs many professionals in the construction industry understand, falls are a leading cause of injury on the jobsite. Furthermore, falls from ladders are the leading contributor to these potentially debilitating incidents. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 81% of falls in the construction industry are directly related to ladder use. Because of this eye opening statistic, Faith Technologies has adopted a “Ladders Last” mentality.

Working from heights is nearly unavoidable in the construction industry. However, this does not mean that ladders should be our “go to” tool in these situations. Ladders present many challenges such as frequent ascending and descending, carrying tools or equipment, maintaining proper balance, as well as prolonged work in awkward positions.

At Faith Technologies, we continuously challenge ourselves to find a better way. One alternative to a ladder is to use an aerial lift such as a scissors or boom lift. This allows the operator to easily traverse through the jobsite without ever leaving the lift. It also provides a stable and balanced work platform for the operator to work from. Workers can also be accompanied on the lift by a co-worker to assist with challenging tasks.

Aerial lifts may not be practical in all situations. In certain cases, a ladder truly is the only option. However, we can still use techniques to reduce our risk of falls by reducing the time spent working from the ladder. When we take the time to plan our work and pre-build components at ground level, we can significantly reduce the time spent interacting with a ladder.

Each jobsite presents unique challenges and risks. By challenging ourselves to use non-traditional methods, we can ensure that our employees choose the appropriate resources to accomplish each task.