Ladders are one of the most commonly used equipment in the construction industry, but people often forget the dangers involved when using a ladder. Thousands of roofers are injured and hundreds die every year due to a ladder-related incident. Employers must be diligent in identifying hazards and addressing them to ensure roofing workers are safe while performing their jobs.
OSHA Ladder Standards
Ladders are needed so that workers can complete work at high levels, but working six feet or more above lower levels puts roofers at risk for serious injury or death if a fall occurs. Failing to provide roofers with adequate fall protection, fall protection equipment, or setting up equipment improperly increases their risk of falling. This is one of the reasons why it is imperative that roofers use OSHA approved ladders when performing their work.
To meet OSHA ladder regulations, employers must ensure that:
- There is a stairway or ladder at every point of access when there is a break in elevation of 10 inches or more.
- Passages are free of restrictions when there is only one point of access between levels.
- One point of access is clear when there are more than two points of access between levels.
- Before using ladders, employers must ensure stairway and ladder fall protection systems for the jobsite are met.
- Ladders are inspected periodically.
- Workers are trained to identify hazards.
- Worker footing is secure to avoid any sliding, shifting, or sinking.
The Basics of Ladder Safety
Falls happen for a number of reasons. Many times workers are hasty in movement or they fail to pay attention to their surroundings. To avoid serious injuries, follow some of these basic OSHA ladder safety guidelines:
- Avoid ladder use when you are tired, dizzy, or during inclement weather (i.e., windy, storms)
- Wear the right safety gear (i.e., slip resistant shoes, eye and face protection)
- Climb ladders properly to minimize slipping and falling
- Inspect ladders and read safety manuals before use
- Use the right ladder for the right job (i.e., size, type)
- Position the ladder properly (i.e., stable surface, away from doors)
Hire an OSHA Defense Attorney
As OSHA defense lawyers, we know how complex safety standards can be. Roofers already have enough to worry about, let us provide legal guidance to get you through the claims and inspection processes. Our team of highly-experienced OSHA attorneys has an extensive background in representing contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and others in the roofing industry and we know that we can be an asset to your business.
If you would like to speak with one of our roofing attorneys, please contact us at 813.579.3278, or submit our contact request form.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.