Things to Do Today to Improve Safety at Your Job Site

Every year, tens of thousands of construction workers are injured on the job. Roughly 1,000 lose their lives. Many of these injured workers end up needing weeks, or even months off work, costing both them and their employer money. Most of these injuries are completely avoidable given the proper safety measures. Here are some common-sense tips to help keep your workers safe.

Train employees well

A trained employee is a safe employee! The number one thing you can do to keep your workers safe is to educate them. Your business should have an official, written safety policy, and it should be given to every employee upon hire. In addition, regular meetings should be held to emphasize and reinforce protocol. Employees should take part in ongoing, routine training sessions to make sure they still understand all the rules and regulations. In fact, many employers require employees to sign off on an official document certifying that they’ve read the regulations and understand them.

Make sure employees have the right equipment

Always provide employees with head, eye, and hearing protection. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s required by OSHA. Each employee should have their own equipment that fits them properly and is free of damage. Gear should be inspected before going on the job each day to check for signs of wear and tear – in particular, hard hats should be free of any cracks or dents, and eye protection should be clean and cleared of any debris or grease which may make it difficult to see.

Keep the job site clean

Keeping a construction site clean might seem like an impossible task, but there are certain steps that can be taken to make your site a safer place. Assign clean-up tasks to employees on a daily basis to help ensure that the appropriate housekeeping measures always are taken. Keep the work areas clear to help avoid accidents such as tripping or getting cut on exposed nails. Make sure spills are cleaned up immediately, and make sure all scrap materials get disposed of appropriately. Toxic and hazardous materials need to be given special care. Failure to handle toxic material in the appropriate way can result in serious injury.

Keep Ladders and Stairways Safe

Ladder safety is consistently within the top-10 most cited OSHA violations at work sites. In fact, OSHA estimates that there are 24,882 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders used in construction. Nearly half of these injuries were serious enough to require time off the job. In order to avoid these accidents, a few simple steps can be taken:

  • Use the right ladder for the job. Step ladders, extension ladders, and combo ladders are all intended for different things, and should always be used as intended.
  • Always inspect for damage, wear, and cleanliness before use. Check for broken or bent rungs, loose steps, and any debris or grease which may make the ladder unsafe.
  • Check for weight limit. Every ladder has a weight limit (which includes you and any equipment you’re carrying. Exceeding that limit could lead to serious injury.
  • Make sure you have a ladder that is the right height for the job. Never try to extend your ladder in any way – this could cause it to slip and fall. Instead, take the time to find the appropriate-size ladder for the job.

Taking the time to teach and enforce safety policies up front will save you a lot of lost work hours (and money) in the long run.

How to Safely Decorate Your Home for the Holidays

Tis the season! With Christmas fast approaching, holiday decorating is in full swing. Whether you’re decorating the tree, hanging outdoor lights, or simply removing those unsightly leaves from your gutter, ladder safety is important.

According to the Consumer Safety Product Commission, thousands of people end up in the hospital every year due to decorating-related injuries. 41% of those injuries involve falls.

Here are some safety tips to make sure you can enjoy the holidays at home with friends and family, instead of in the ER.

Inspect Your Ladder

You should always inspect your ladder at every use, but especially if you haven’t handled it in a while. From regular wear and tear to storage-related damage, there are a lot of issues that might cause your ladder to be unsafe. Check for things like loose screws, hinges and rungs, and wipe off anything, like grease, that might cause you to slip and fall.

Choose the Proper Size Ladder for the Job

Ladders come in a variety of sizes and styles, and choosing the right one is essential for safe use. One factor to consider is the weight limit. Every ladder has a maximum weight it can support (anywhere from 200lbs – 375lbs), and that includes you and any equipment you’re carrying. In addition, consider the ladder type and height. A step ladder would be appropriate for inside the house, while a combination or extension ladder would be more appropriate for outside. If you’re working on the roof, make sure your ladder extends at least 3ft above the edge.

Set the Ladder Up Correctly

Proper ladder set-up is essential for any job, as misuse can lead to injury. Never use your ladder in any way other than how the manufacturer intended. Some key points to remember are:

·      Always place your ladder on level ground.

·      Don’t try to lengthen or extend it in any way.

·      Don’t lean your ladder against anything.

·      When using a step ladder, open completely and lock into place.

  • When using an extension ladder, make sure you have the correct angle between the ladder and the house.

Always Use Your Ladder Properly

It can be tempting to hang off the side of your ladder to try to get that star on top of the tree, but it’s also dangerous. Improper ladder use leads to more injuries than anything else. Use these common-sense tips to help keep you safe:

  • Have someone else stand at the bottom to assist you, if you can.
  • No more than one person should ever be on the ladder at the same time.
  • Use caution if your ladder is set up by a doorway: either lock the door so it can’t be opened, or place a sign to warn others.
  • Keep three points of contact on the ladder at all times.
  • Don’t try to climb too high, and never stand on top of the ladder.

Finally, Keep Safety in Mind

When you’re on a ladder, always have your next move in mind. Plan what you’re going to do in your head before you actually do it, and then proceed with caution. If you’re going to be outdoors, avoid rain, snow, wind, or other inclement weather, and always wear dry, slip-resistant shoes. And, obviously, never use a table, chair, desk, or any other non-ladder item as a ladder.

Keep these tips in mind for a safe, accident-free holiday season!

Ladder Safety Tips From The Ladder Safety Professor

Ladders are used for many different tasks in every day work. Whether you use a stepladder to get a few extra inches to pull something off a higher shelf, or an extension ladder to climb up to your roof, they are a common tool that everyone should know about. While ladder use may see intuitive, there are some tips and tricks that may not come to mind when first picking up your ladder in preparation for your tasks. In this article, we’ll give you a few tidbits to make sure that you do not end up injuring yourself. Safety is the number one thing we strive for, after all.

Height Given Versus Height Needed

While you might be happy with a ladder that reaches to the top of the shelving or a fair amount of trees, unless there’s enough of the ladder above where you want to reach, it is unsafe. A good rule of thumb is to give at least three feet more to the top of the ladder, whether you’re climbing up onto a roof, or merely clipping overgrown branches. This gives your ladder more stability and helps keep it from buckling as you climb up or down. This provides you with the safety you need from shaking, which can cause you to fall.

In addition, you will do better if you buy a ladder that is a few feet taller than you might feel is necessary. While a twenty-four foot ladder will generally get you to your gutters on a two story home, it isn’t tall enough to provide you with a safe climb onto the roof. Unless you know you will never need to climb that high, a twenty-eight foot ladder is far better for that purpose.

Positioning

You might have a ladder tall enough to follow the above tip, but if you do not give it a good, stable position on the ground, it will wobble no matter how well you hold it up. To make sure you provide your ladder with the perfect angle, you should stand with your feet touching the bottoms of the ladder feet. Hold your arms out straight and touch the rungs. If you can reach the rungs with the tips of your fingers, then you have a good angle. If not, then you should move the ladder until you can. This provides the bottoms of the ladder with firm ground, giving you a balanced climb up.

Planning Your Route

While using your ladder to get to higher-up areas outside your home, you can come along a good deal of different obstacles. Anything from hanging bird homes, to errant tree limbs, to even power lines may come into your way, and it is a frightening aspect to have to twist around such objects. In addition, the ground may or may not be as stable as required. Planning a route around these hurdles will do a great deal of good in making sure that you do not twist in a way that could send you falling to the ground.

Injury Prevention Tips for Construction Workers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released alarming information regarding construction workers in a 2012 Economic News Release. The study revealed 4,383 work injuries, a number that increased 5 % in comparison to 2011’s findings. This information has caused many in the field to focus on ways to improve safety. Whether renovating a home, installing windows or assisting with commercial building projects; construction workers play a vital role in building America’s most grandiose dreams. If you are in the industry, here are a few tips to keep you safe.

#1 – Prevent Falls from the Start

With over 65 % of those in the construction industry using a scaffold regularly, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, planning for the risk that comes with an elevated project is critical. In fact, planning is one of the simplest ways to prevent injuries. If you are expecting to work on a project that requires you to labor above six feet, you should make sure that you have the proper fall protection equipment such as a safety harness, belt or ascender.
Ladder safety is also significant. Inspect equipment thoroughly beforehand. You should also avoid slippery surfaces, unstable floors and vulnerable edges. Most importantly, never sit on a skylight. When it doubt, never ever take chances above the ground.

#2 – Make Sure That You Are Lifting Properly

The Bureau of Labor Statistics study also reported back problems as the number one complaint among construction workers. You can prevent back injury by knowing how to lift properly. Although you may be strong enough to lift items alone, it is okay to ask a team member for help.
You should also always use equipment to handle large loads. Forklifts, dolly’s and hand trucks were created with your safety in mind. Another common mistake is using your back to lift. Your legs should be used to both lift and turn. Avoid lifting items above your shoulder level and break the load up if necessary.

#3 – Get Good Gear

Safety gear is imperative and helmet use is not up for debate. Helmets are specifically designed to prevent head injuries that can occur in the event of an unexpected fall. If you are required to use a tool belt, be sure to evaluate your set before the job. Make sure that you have the necessary fasteners, nail set, hammer, screwdriver and pencil. Invest in high quality tools that meet current industry standards. Suspenders are another way to save your back if you are using a wide belt.

Boots, glasses and gloves are also essential. Steel toe boots are highly recommended. They can protect your feet from sudden falling objects or sharp items. Boots also serve to stabilize your ankle should you come across a shaky surface. Protecting your hands is also required for using certain equipment or tools. Gloves may or may not be necessary based on the job, but when required do take heed.

These are just a few tips to help you stay safe, but there are tons of other resources available. Don’t be afraid to ask your team members or leaders for help. Asking questions is completely harmless.

Top 3 Ladder Safety Tips for Being Safe on a Roof

Ladder safety is important for many reasons. You are climbing up something that can take you several stories high. While using a ladder is relatively safe, it is important to always take precaution to avoid falling. You could become seriously injured if you were to fall from a very high distance. While you may have already learned about roofing safety and construction safety when preparing for the job, there are still a few tips you should know to keep yourself protected.

Choose the Right Ladder for the Job You’re Doing

Having the wrong ladder for the job could cost you dearly, which is why it is important that you shop around and find a ladder designed specifically for the construction job you are doing. So how exactly do you decide which ladder is the right one? The first thing you need to do is figure out which brand you’ll choose.
There are certain brands, such as Louisville, that are known in the construction industry because of their durability. Once you know which brand you are going for, you can take a look at the ladders and pick a suitable option. An extension ladder might be what you need to get to a roof and a scaffolding ladder is what you will need when working on a scaffolding project. If you’re working on electrical wires, you will want to have a ladder made from wood or fiberglass instead of metal. These are just a few things to think about when picking out a ladder.

Wear the Right Shoes

Having the right shoes on your feet is important for so many reasons. If you are not wearing shoes with a good grip, you could easily slip right off the ladder. Is it really worth falling off and breaking something in your body? Not at all. Keep yourself protected by purchasing footwear designed for the construction industry. If you are not sure whether to go for sneakers or a certain style of boots, you can look at the shoes that Cougar Paws offers. These shoes come with different types of pads that have a strong grip and are designed to help people avoid falls.

Use a Safety Harness When Climbing a Ladder

A ladder harness offers fall protection. If you don’t wear one, you are taking a risk every time. Even if you are always careful and play it safe, it is still important to wear your safety harness. Some harnesses pass through the legs only. However, there are full-body harnesses that will make you feel even safer when you are at a dangerous height. The construction industry is, at times, a dangerous field to work in. It involves lots of climbing and working on areas that aren’t always at ground level.

Whether you are a professional or are just getting started with construction and still feel nervous about the heights, you should have a safety harness strapped on your body. Wearing the harness, protective shoes, and using the right ladder will allow you to do your job safely.

What Brands of Ladders Are Best for Roofing Safety?

When you are working a construction job, a ladder is normally a must-have. If you need to get to a higher area of a building, the ladder will help you get there. Also, if you need to get on the roof, you will need a reliable and sturdy ladder that you can climb up without feeling like you are going to fall off. Roofing safety is crucial. A flimsy, cheap ladder may not be in your best interest. If it is too flimsy, the elements could easily cause it to fall. Can you imagine a ladder falling down on a windy day after a gust of air hits it? You definitely wouldn’t want to stand on a ladder when it falls over because then you are at risk of getting hurt in the process.

Which Ladders Are Safe to Use?

Louisville ladders are a popular choice among those in the construction field for several reasons. The brand offers tons of different options, including ladders that are made from aluminum and wood. They have gained a good reputation for providing sturdy ladders that last a long time and allow people in this industry to get the job done without a hassle.

If you want to make an investment that will continuously help you with the work that you do, you might want to consider purchasing one of these ladders. You can also buy replacement parts for any ladders that you buy, which is convenient. If something were to break after a while, you wouldn’t have to buy a whole new ladder and could simply replace the parts instead.

What Kinds of Ladders Does Louisville Offer?

There are several options that you can choose from, including those that are ideal for roofing projects. You can sort through the ladders based on their size, material, and style. Some of the ladder options you will find include:

  • Scaffolding
  • Extension
  • Platform
  • Step Stool
  • Attic

The one that you choose will depend solely on what you plan to do with it. Extension ladders are ideal for construction projects. You can continue to extend the ladder until it is at the height that you need before you plan to climb it. You can also check out the weight capacity of the ladder you want to buy. Some of the options can hold up to 300+ pounds. It is good to know this information because you wouldn’t want to buy a ladder with a low weight capacity and risk having it damaged when you climb it.

Why Is It So Important to Have The Right Ladder?

Without the right ladder, you can’t get the job done correctly. Your job depends on having the best equipment, and Louisville ladders are the best. They take ladder safety to another level that others simply cannot compare to. If you want to feel safe while you work, having a ladder with good a good grip made from a sturdy material is your best option