Winter can be a magical time, but with the first frost comes a host of special safety concerns. Businesses that use access equipment like ladders are especially obligated to take extra precautions during the snowy season.
According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health, almost 25 percent of nonfatal falls in the construction industry involve ladders. Practicing safe ladder usage is essential to protecting your people and your business, especially in winter.
Here is a list of 8 ladder safety tips to help your business prevent accidents during the cold months:
Before the winter season kicks in, conduct a thorough inspection of all your ladders. Check for any signs of wear, damage, or corrosion that may compromise their integrity.
Training is always the first step in fostering a safe work environment for your team. Make sure anyone who uses ladders knows to check for ice or snow that may have accumulated on the ladder rungs, especially if it was exposed to the elements during storage. They should know to always wear gloves during winter climbs, especially if they are using an aluminum ladder, which can get very cold. Bare hands can become numb or even get stuck to the rungs. Climbers should also check that their shoes are clean and secured before they begin using any ladder.
Both workers ascending the ladder and those working below should wear appropriate footwear for winter conditions. Insulated, slip-resistant boots provide better stability and reduce the risk of accidents caused by icy or wet surfaces. Encourage your team to prioritize safety by investing in suitable footwear.
Winter brings slippery surfaces, ice patches, and unpredictable weather. Before using a ladder, assess the conditions of the work area. Clear away snow and ice, and use salt or sand to create traction. Additionally, ensure that the ladder’s feet are securely set on a stable surface to prevent slips and falls. Use a safety mat when in doubt.
Selecting the correct ladder for the task at hand is key. Be sure to consider the height, material, and weight capacity of the ladder to ensure it meets the specific requirements of your winter projects. Cold-resistant fiberglass ladders could be a good choice for winter work.
Consider implementing a buddy system for ladder usage at your job site, particularly during treacherous winter conditions. A safety partner can assist a worker in ascending or descending a ladder and possibly prevent disaster from happening.
Protecting your business is paramount, especially during the winter months when accidents are more likely to occur. For top-notch Illinois construction insurance, look to SIA Insurance Group. Our business is making sure that you have the best comprehensive coverage so that your business remains resilient, even in the face of unforeseen challenges. Give us a call today at 630-325-4000.
Become a leading distributor of fully integrated Risk Management services to the small and middle market.