PestSure Blog

3 minutes reading time (588 words)

Prevent Workplace Falls With Good Ladder Safety

Did you know there are more than 2,000 ladder-related injuries every day across the United States and that most ladder falls happen between 6 and 10 ft. off the ground?

Pest management professionals frequently climb ladders to perform inspections and services for a variety of pest issues from termites and occasional invaders to birds and nuisance wildlife.

Knowing how to safely use a ladder is necessary for technicians and providing regular and detailed ladder safety training is a responsibility of company owners and managers.

Planning for Ladder Safety

When a service call requires working on a ladder or at any elevation, there are variables that must be considered. These include the length of time the job will require; the materials and tools required to complete the job, and the worksite setup.

If the job requires extended hours working from a ladder, carrying excessive loads while climbing a ladder, and overreaching while on the ladder – one of the two most common causes of ladder accidents along with missing the last step – consider the options of using a scaffold or an aerial lift.

Ladder Safety Checklist

  • Is it the proper height or length for the job?
  • Is it the best type of ladder for the work you will do or the level you will need to access?
  • Did you set the ladder up?
  • Did you inspect the ladder?
  • How long will you be working from the ladder?
  • How stable and secure is the ladder once set?
  • How much do you weigh including any tools or materials you will take with you on the ladder?
  • Will you or the ladder be near exposed electrical conductors?

Selecting the Right Ladder

One of the most common ladder safety mistakes is not selecting the right size ladder for the job at hand. Technicians and their managers should know what ladder is best suited for the job before the service call is made.

Straight Ladders

When using a straight ladder, the top of your ladder should be no more than about 2 feet below the working level – the area you are trying to reach. Never use an A-Frame step ladder in the closed position to simulate a straight ladder. Be sure to set your ladder at a 4:1 ratio.

Step Ladders  

Step ladders come in varying heights. The top of your ladder should be no more than about 4 feet below the working level. Be sure your ladder is fully open and locked into the open position.

All Ladders

Use a ladder made of non-conductive material if you will be anywhere near exposed electrical conductors when working.

  • Inspect the ladder before each climb
  • Check the ladder set up, location, and stability before each climb.
  • Keep three points of contact and keep your body between the side rails as you climb, work from, and descend the ladder.
  • If the work you are doing requires you to leave the ladder onto an elevated surface, be certain to review and implement your fall protection plan.

PestSure – Your Partner in Safety

Founded in 1980, PestSure is the only insurance and risk management provider that is 100 percent dedicated to the pest management industry. It offers industry professionals a full suite of insurance, risk management, and safety training and education offerings.

PestSure provides insurance, safety and risk management consulting to pest management companies representing $2 billion in revenue, $750 million in payroll and more than 16,500 service vehicles. The program is administered by Alliant Insurance Services.

Call 888.984.3813 or visit our contact page for more information.

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