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Ladder Safety and Housekeeping

Ladder Safety and Housekeeping

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Depending on your work area, finding the space to properly store equipment, tools or material may be difficult. You may be tempted to leave materials in any available space – including around the base of ladders. This act may seem harmless, but it can be extremely dangerous to both you and your coworkers. It’s important to keep ladder landing areas free and clear of any items that could create a tripping hazard. Congested ladder landing areas can be very dangerous for those using the ladder, as people can easily slip, trip or fall while ascending or descending. Any tools, materials, and equipment you may be using should be properly stored to ensure they do not create hazardous conditions.

Never leave your tools or other items in areas where they may fall. Maybe you did so absentmindedly, or maybe you were trying to save time, but imagine what could have happened if someone was to become injured due to your carelessness? It is of utmost importance to clean up after yourself at the end of your day, or once you’ve finished working in a particular space, this is the least you can do to ensure that the workspace you share with many others remains safe clean.

Working in a clean and properly organized space will go a long way in helping to improve your overall productivity and efficiency while helping make the work environment safer for you and your coworkers. A messy workspace can also leave a bad impression on clients and customers. In their minds, an unclean workspace may reflect on the quality of your work.

How To Keep Your Workspace Tidy?

• Lead by example. If you can make a conscious effort to keep the space around your ladder tidy, it will encourage your colleagues to do the same. Influencing others around you to make such a positive change to their work habits as a team will alter your team’s work culture for the better and lead to a safer, more productive workplace.
• Help your fellow workers. If you happen to see anything lying around that could cause anyone potential harm, pick it up yourself. Some might think, “Well, I didn’t leave it there, so it’s not my responsibility.” this is a terrible attitude to have. It’s your workspace, too; you might as well help keep it clean.
• Regularly Check Your Workspace. Take out a minute now and then clean up around you throughout the day. If you can see a mess start to pile up around the base of your ladder, clean it now rather than procrastinating. There’s no time like the present, after all.
• Leave Important Access Points Open. Do not leave your ladder and other tools lying in the path of exit and entry points of the workspace. If any unforeseen incident were to occur, people must get out of the building as quickly as possible.

• Put your ladder Away When You’re Done with Them. By putting tools away when you don’t need them, not only will you prevent your workspace from getting untidy, you’ll also prevent your tools from being misplaced.
• Make sure cables aren’t in the way of your ladder: A loose cable can make the ground beneath your ladder uneven and cause you to fall. Prevent any unnecessary harm to yourself and others around you by removing wires from your workspace before positioning your ladder to work

Facts & Figures

Every year, hospitals around America see 500,000 emergency room visits due to ladder-related injuries, and 300 people lose their lives to such injuries annually, according to the CDC. To spread awareness about the importance of ladder safety, the American Ladder Association has declared March Annual Ladder Safety Month.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a Ladder Safety app that will encourage safer construction sites.

Such initiatives are great, but the fact of the matter is that they won’t amount to anything unless you and your fellow workers come together to enact positive change in the workplace. By helping and encouraging each other, you can enact positive change to improve the quality of work in construction sites and save lives.
If you’re a manager, team leader, or in any position of power, try to encourage the workers under your leadership to practice safer workplace etiquette, such as clearing the space around the base of their ladders. You can hold a 10-minute team exercise at the end of each workday, where workers are encouraged to clean up before leaving the workplace. You could even incentivize tidiness in the workplace with added perks such as monetary bonuses, longer breaks, or an ’employee of the month’ award based on who kept their workplace the cleanest.

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