Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
Can you spot the problems in this picture?
Click an area to see if you are right!
The lack of any sort of barricade to ward off oncoming vehicle traffic is the most glaring safety misstep.
Non-self-supporting ladders, must lean against a wall or other support, and be positioned at such an angle that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about 1⁄4 the working length of the ladder.
We can’t see what this ladder is being leaned against but we can assume it’s a branch in the tree. Makes you wonder how sturdy the branch is, but even then, the area around the top (and bottom) of a ladder must be clear.
Whoever set this ladder up must have been so focused on getting the job done that he or she forgot to follow basic safety procedures.
Seven Statistics: Ladders
- According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, every year 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries and approximately 300 of these
incidents prove to be fatal. They further estimated that ladder-related injuries effectively cost the public more than $11 billion annually.
- Of all occupational injuries, falls are the second leading cause of death next to highway crashes. Falls remain a leading cause of unintentional injury mortality
nationwide, and 43% of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder. Among workers, approximately 20% of fall injuries involve ladders. Among construction workers, an estimated 81% of fall injuries treated in U.S.
emergency departments involve a ladder.
- In 2013, 175,790 people were injured on ladders severely enough to require a trip to the hospital. Nearly 20,000 people were injured and 133 died due to falls
from a ladder or scaffolding at work, according to Injury Facts 2016. Workers in the construction industry are most at risk.
- Common sense leads us to the conclusion that a shorter ladder carries less risk of injury than a taller one, and to an extent, this is probably true. Someone can,
however, sustain serious injury from even a short fall. A 2011 estimate from the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) claims that 35% of fall fatalities [PDF] were from heights of 15 feet or less. 5. 40% of ladder falls resulted from the ladder itself moving. The large majority of these cases involve the bottom of the ladder moving. You’ll recognize that this kind of movement can happen no matter how high up you are.
- 24% were attributed to slips on the steps of the ladder. Inspecting the steps to make sure they are free of any slippery material and wearing appropriate footwear along with choosing ladders with anti-slip surfaces on
the steps can help mitigate this risk.
- Losing one’s balance accounted for another 18% of ladder falls which should be less likely to occur if the ladder itself is stable.