Now that Spring weather has arrived and contractors begin their exterior building projects, we want to take a moment to remind everyone about the importance of ladder and scaffolding safety.

LADDER SAFETY

Follow Directions. First and foremost; follow the directions that come with your ladder. Ladders have load ratings, so be sure to follow the ratings and do not overload it. You can learn more about ladder Duty Ratings here: http://www.americanladderinstitute.org/?page=Ladders101


Inspect Your Ladder.
Proper care and maintenance is a key component to ladder safety. Before each use, be sure to inspect your ladder to ensure it is in proper working order.

If any part or component of your ladder fails inspection. DO NOT USE IT and REMOVE FROM SERVICE until it can be repaired or destroyed (if not repairable).

If possible, store your ladder indoors. If you use ladder racks for your vehicles, be sure to rinse off road dirt or salt regularly, this will help increase the longevity of the ladder.

Assess the work environment. There are three basic materials for ladders: Aluminum, Fiberglass and Wood and they come in various forms for different uses. It is best to inspect the work area to be sure you are using the right ladder for the job. Consider obstacles, electrical sources, uneven ground and height when choosing the best ladder.

SCAFFOLDING SAFETY

Much of the safety practices you should follow for ladder safety apply to scaffolding as well, but there are some specific measures that should be taken when using scaffolding. Below are some scaffolding safety basics:

Follow directions. As with all construction equipment, follow the directions that come with the scaffolding. Know the load capacity, and don’t overload the scaffolding with equipment, materials and crew.

Train the crew. Everyone who will be using the scaffolding or who will be working around it should know all the safety precautions to take. This includes set up, prep, bracing, use (like how to properly get on and off of the scaffolding) and even dismantling it when the job is done.

Assess the environment, set up smart and take your time. Make sure the ground is level and that there is no big elevation change. Look for obstacles like trees or electrical services. When assembling the scaffolding, be sure that the base is secured, legs are plumb, the cross members are level, and all ties and locking devices are secured.

Secure the scaffolding. Be sure to properly brace the scaffolding using brace retention or locking devices made for that specific scaffolding. Mixing of brands is not recommended. Scaffolding is rated/tested as a system not as mixed pieces.

Inspect the equipment. Be sure to inspect the scaffolding for wear and tear, defects or broken parts. Be sure to replace and/or fix damaged parts prior to use.

Keep it clean. Be sure to keep the scaffolding free from construction debris and unnecessary tools that may become dangerous obstacles.

Use Fall Protection. Fall protection should be used when working 6 or more Ft. above grade. Fall protection can be accomplished in several ways. Use the best method for your application.

For FREE ladder safety training- click here: http://www.laddersafetytraining.org/

More Safety information available here: http://www.lynnladder.com/pages/Safety-Information.html

http://www.osha.com/courses/construction.html

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