News & Updates

March Is Ladder Safety Month

Sponsored by the American Ladder Institute, National Ladder Safety Month is dedicated exclusively to the promotion of ladder safety. During March 2018, National Ladder Safety Month will bring heightened awareness to the importance of the safe use of ladders through resources, training, and a national dialogue.

Ladder safety is often a topic at NIA’s Health and Safety Committee meetings, and here are tips that appeared in NIA News:

Ladder Safety Tips from the Health and Safety Panel Discussion

At the recent Health and Safety Forum at NIA’s Annual Convention, 4 merit and union contractor members shared their experiences in the field on several topics, including ladder safety. The panel was facilitated by NIA’s General Counsel Gary W. Auman of Auman, Mahan & Furry.

Contractor panelists included:

  • Pete Gauchel, President, L & C Insulation, Inc.
  • Jason Heath, Director of Safety and Loss Control, Zampell Companies
  • Mike Hill, Regional Safety Manager, Performance Contracting, Inc.
  • Bill McCaffrey, Corporate Safety Director, Irex Contracting Group

As an introduction to this important topic, panelists shared their company’s approach to training, inspections, specifications, and more related to ladders and ladder safety. Highlights included:

  • Create and enforce your company’s rules about the types of ladders to be used by employees (e.g., one panelist’s company uses only fiber glass ladders rated at 350 pounds and another company prohibits the use of wooden ladders);
  • Make sure supervisors know which ladder to buy on a job site if a ladder has to be purchased;
  • Consistently emphasize to all employees to use only company-provided ladders—no borrowed ladders;
  • Have a designated Competent Person conduct thorough ladder inspections at least once a month in addition to daily user inspections;
  • Train all new hires on ladder safety and let them know the safety expectations for the job;
  • Use a pre-task plan so that employees understand the tasks of the day and use the correct ladder and equipment for the job;
  • Host a yearly safety meeting and conduct annual foreman training to reinforce safety expectations;
  • Perform frequent and regular safety inspections to ensure employees are following ladder safety and other workplace safety rules; and
  • Explore new safety features on certain types of ladders such as levelers on extension ladders, and podium-style step ladders. One panelist even stated they buy step ladders with a rung that makes a clicking noise when you reach the bottom step. This prevents accidents when workers mistakenly think they are on the last step and fall getting off the ladder.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Health and Safety Committee Meetings and Forums so that safety solutions can be shared and members can implement valuable safety information in their companies. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 18, during NIA’s 63rd Annual Convention at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, Florida, April 18–20, 2018. Visit www.insulation.org/convention2018/ for more information.

Please note that these tips are intended for general information only. Please consult with your company’s safety expert or safety policy for specific guidelines.