by Barry Maxell, MS
Safety Services Manager

Ladder safety is critical in the workplace to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of employees.  Each year in the U.S. there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths that are caused by falls from ladders.  An estimated 81% of fall injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involve a ladder.  In most situations, ladders were used improperly.  The most frequent ladder injuries include broken bones and head injuries.  This is why it is crucial for employers to comply with ladder safety requirements set by regulatory bodies like OSHA and ANSI.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets specific requirements for ladder safety in the workplace, including ladder design, inspection, and maintenance.  Similarly, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) also sets ladder safety requirements to ensure ladder safety in the workplace.  ANSI’s requirements are designed to complement OSHA’s requirements and provide additional guidance on ladder safety.

Aside from strictly adhering to OSHA standards for ladders and meeting ANSI requirements, implementing a ladder safety program is one of the best ways to ensure employee safety when working at heights.

A ladder safety program is a comprehensive set of policies, procedures, and training aimed at preventing ladder-related injuries.  The following are the minimum components of a good ladder safety program:

  • Hazard identification: Identify all potential hazards associated with ladder use in the workplace and take necessary steps to eliminate or mitigate them.

    Ladder selection: Select the appropriate ladder for the job based on the ladder’s height, load capacity, and intended use.

    Inspection and maintenance: Regularly inspect ladders to ensure they are in good working condition and maintain them to ensure they remain safe to use.

    Training: Provide ladder safety training to employees to ensure they understand how to use ladders safely.

    Supervision: Assign competent supervisors to oversee ladder use and ensure compliance with safety policies and procedures.

Overall, ladder safety programs are critical to ensuring employee safety when working at heights.  By implementing a comprehensive ladder safety program and following OSHA standards for ladders and meeting ANSI requirements, organizations can prevent ladder-related injuries and fatalities in the workplace. 

How Can We Help?
If you need assistance in developing or revising your ladder safety program, please contact, EI Safety Services Manager, Barry Maxwell, at (919) 280-8797 or [email protected] for further support.