Ladders are essential to work high up on your commercial building. However, thousands of injuries occur every year as a result of people misusing these devices. The first step in ladder safety is hiring a commercial roofing contractor who knows how to safely work on your roof. In the event you find yourself in a situation where you or your employees do need to use a ladder, then abide by OSHA guidelines and follow these safety tips.
1. Examine the Ladder for Defects
Before climbing on, always check the ladder closely. You may not use it all the time, and as it rests in storage, it may develop corrosion and cracks. Additionally, you need to make sure all of the rivets and bolts are securely in place. In particular, you want to check the feet because the rubber may be cracked and broken.
You should inspect every portion of the ladder before setting it against any structure. In the event it is broken, you should mark it as such so that no one else tries to use it. You should also inform your boss that the ladder needs to be thrown away and replaced.
2. Be Wary of the Weather
You may have scheduled when you need to go out to use the ladder. However, you never know when a storm will blow through town, and you do not want to increase your risk of injury. Even if you have gone up and down a ladder numerous times in various conditions, you do not want to risk it in rains or high winds. When you try to schedule the roof maintenance, you should look ahead to the weather so you can try to plan it for a clear day.
3. Maintain a Solid Foundation
Before beginning any project, you want to ensure you have an even surface to set the ladder on. You never want to set it on a slope because it could tip over. You also want to make sure there is no water or mud where you are placing the feet. You do not want your ladder to lose resistance in any form. As you inspect the ladder, you should check to see if the feet have accumulated any dust or mud from being in storage. Clean the feet off thoroughly and give them enough time to dry before use.
4. Move Slowly Up the Ladder
Even if you have the best ladder money can buy, you still want to go up it slowly. The sturdiest of ladders may shake if it experiences abrupt motion. Before you make any movement while at the top, you need to think it through and consider whether there is any risk to the action. For example, you do not want to put too much weight on one side and risk tipping. In the event you are helping someone use a ladder, then you should say something if the person appears to be going up or down too quickly.
5. Stay Off the Top Rung
When you reach the top of your ladder, you will notice that the top rung says, “This is not a step.” You may need to reach a few inches higher, but you do not want to get on this last rung. The tops of ladders are not designed to be stood upon. You never want to tempt fate by trying it. Additionally, you should read through any extra safety labels or manuals the ladder came with in case there are other considerations to take into account.
6. Watch Out for Personal Fatigue
You should make sure the ladder is in good condition, but you also need to watch out for your own personal well-being. If you are tired or you have not eaten in a while, then you do not want to risk climbing. You need to be mindful of any aches or pains you are feeling. Anyone who is still recovering from a leg or foot injury should never get on a ladder under any circumstances. If you have any mobility issues in your day-to-day life, then you should stay at floor-level.
7. Avoid Setting Up a Ladder Near a Door
Your ladder should be out of the way of pedestrian traffic. Otherwise someone could accidentally bump into it and make you lose your balance. Additionally, you do not want to set it up near a door because someone could come through at any moment. Block out a sizable area so that you and your crew can work efficiently and safely, out of everyone else’s way.
The best way to stay safe is to let someone else use the ladders. When you need to do some work on your commercial roof, you need to contact the experts at Benton Roofing. With our help, your roof can be as good as new without putting you or any of your employees in jeopardy.