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Slips, Trips and Falls – Ladder Safety. OSHA Region V Emphasis Program. Fall Hazards in Construction and General Industry Effective April 1, 2013 Focus on the safe use of portable and fixed ladders Evaluate number of fall-related injuries. Slip, Trip, and Fall Preventi on. 3.

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Slips, Trips and Falls – Ladder Safety

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osha region v emphasis program
OSHA Region V Emphasis Program
  • Fall Hazards in Construction and General Industry
  • Effective April 1, 2013
  • Focus on the safe use of portable and fixed ladders
  • Evaluate number of fall-related injuries
slip trip and fall preventi on
Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention


  • Hazards and Exposure
  • The ‘Law of Opportunity’
  • Identify the importance of preventing slip, trip and fall hazards
  • Evaluate the best and safest way to complete the job
  • Identify safe work practices to avoid slips, trips and falls

A Fall Occurs…

‘It’s not the fall that’s hurts but the sudden stop at the end’

The free fall velocity at impact when falling 12 feet is nearly 20 mph

A person will hit the ground in just under one second after falling this distance


stay clear of falling objects
Stay Clear of Falling Objects
  • Avoid working under or near hazards or process
  • Do not allow others below your work area
  • If you are not directly involved, stay clear
the enemies
The Enemies


  • Rushing
  • Distraction
    • ‘Multi-tasking’
  • Precipitation or spills
  • At-risk behaviors
winter and wet weather
Winter and Wet Weather


  • Salt and sand
  • Use ice gripper slip-ons ‘yak tracks’
  • Walk like a penguin or shuffle on ice
    • Keep your knees and elbows ‘soft’
  • Be aware of glare ice conditions
general floor surfaces 1
General Floor Surfaces: #1


  • Use of floor surface degreasers, i.e. ‘Y-slip’
  • Keep rugs and mats flat and secured at the corners
  • Objects on the floor (i.e. paperclips)
  • Loose carpeting


  • Concentrate on what you’re doing, to avoid ‘distracted walking’
  • Identify pedestrian walkways
  • ‘Three points of balance’, keeping one hand free when possible when walking, for support
what to do in a fall
What to Do in a Fall


  • Avoid initially helping someone up by offering your hand – they may have experienced a head, neck or back injury.
  • How to get up on your own after a fall, first ‘taking stock’
carrying items
Carrying Items


  • Use carts or other means for when carrying items
  • Be aware of steps and stairs – especially non-commercial or ‘home made’
    • Throwing off your internal tape measure
line of sight
Line of Sight


  • Keep adequate lines of sight in terms of seeing over what you might be carrying, and also, around corners or vehicles


  • Provide adequate illumination and lighting
  • Keep and use flashlights – don’t let your toes lead the way in the dark!
pick the right ladder
Pick the Right Ladder

Before stepping onto a ladder, think about these things:

  • Duty rating of the ladder—what capacity can it hold?
  • Height of the ladder—too short or too tall?
  • Condition of the ladder and instructions unique to the ladder selected.
ladder angle portable rung and cleat ladders
Ladder AnglePortable Rung and Cleat Ladders


Use at angle where the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is ¼ the working length of the ladder (length along ladder between the foot and top support).


Damaged or Defective Ladders

Inspect ladders for visible defects, like broken or missing rungs

If a defective ladder is found, immediately mark it defective or tag it "Do Not Use”

Withdraw defective ladders from service until repaired

Missing rung



Climbing the Ladder

Face the ladder when going up or down

Use at least one hand to grab the ladder when going up or down –

Maintain 3 points of contact at all times!

Do not carry any object or load that could cause you to lose balance

The ‘Belly Button Rule’


proper condition and instructions
Proper Condition and Instructions
  • Inspect the ladder for visible defects
    • Never use a ladder that is broken or otherwise damaged
    • Remove damaged ladders from service and tag them as damaged
  • Review the safety labels on the ladder
    • Always comply with the warnings and instructions
determine proper ladder set up
Determine Proper Ladder Set-up
  • Consider placement and pitch
  • Secure and stabilize the ladder
placement tips
Placement Tips
  • Avoid setting up a ladder in high traffic or barricaded areas
  • Do not use metal or aluminum ladders near electrical lines
secure and stabilize ladders
Secure and Stabilize Ladders

Slippery Surfaces

Never use a ladder on a slippery surface, unless it issecured to prevent movement.

  • Wet or slippery surfaces may require a cleat.
  • Ladder feet should dig into the ground, and the ladder should be secured at the bottom to prevent movement/slipping.
secure and stabilize ladders1
Secure and Stabilize Ladders

Uneven Surface

When the surface is not level, use a ladder leveler (accessory) to provide even contact points

maintain a safe position on ladders
Maintain a Safe Position on Ladders
  • Do not overreach when working from the ladder
  • Do not stand on the top two rungs of a stepladder
  • Do not allow another person on a ladder at any given time, unless you are using a double-cleated ladder that is intended for two-way traffic