Facility Maintenance: Ladders & Ladder OpeningsPeter Kavia
Workers in manufacturing and commercial facilities face dangers in the workplace every day. Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death on the job, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors. One misstep on an elevated surface can have tragic consequences.
Even the most experienced workers aren’t immune from this danger. Fortunately, government regulations are in place to protect employees from these preventable hazards. OSHA requires guardrails, safety gates, and other fall protection systems, of the proper type and dimensions, be installed on stairway, ladders and elevated surfaces. Most companies have taken the time to install guardrails on elevated work platforms but an often overlooked area is the point of access to the ladder. Workers face a dangerous hazard when accessing the ladder and having a safe egress/ingress zone is key for safety.
There are many options available to employers to help protect workers as they perform their jobs on ladders, scaffolds, platforms and roofs.
Ladders are frequently used in manufacturing settings. Whether attached to platforms, mezzanines or roofs, they allow workers access to both high traffic and limited access areas to perform a variety of tasks including regular daily work, and the maintenance or monitoring of equipment.
While ladders are used on a daily basis in manufacturing plants, they are also frequently the cause of accidents due to carelessness or mishaps. The primary concerns when it comes to ladder surfaces is limiting the possibility of someone entering the ladder opening by mistake or failing to close a chain with a clasp.
In order to be in compliance with federal guidelines these systems, and others must be in place to help mitigate the likelihood of falls. It is crucial that the right systems are used, conforming to the unique dimensions of the ladder and surface.
Self-closing Safety gates can protect workers from walking directly into a ladder opening and suffering serious injury in a fall. Swing gates are a popular system for this purpose. Double and single doors are available with reduced swing radius. This is an economical way to prevent potential deadly falls in the workplace.
Safety gates come in a variety of sizes to accommodate almost any ladder opening and can easily be attached to almost any industrial surface. Many safety gates also include guardrail attachments for proving a controlled access zone on roof tops.
Providing adequate ladder safety isn’t an option, it is mandated by the federal government.
Guardrails not only help protect workers as they ascend and descend the ladder but can also prevent falls from leading edges.
Although some guardrails are non-penetrating and removable, most are attached to the surface. Steel is the preferred material for industrial guardrails due to its strength and durability.
All ladder safety systems, whether guardrails or safety gates, must be finished in vibrant safety yellow in order to conform to OSHA standards.
Make sure your company is not only in compliance with these regulations but also offers the highest quality fall protection systems available for your workers. Visit CAI Safety for superior ladder safety systems including guardrails and safety gates that meet OSHA standards: https://caisafety.com/safety-gate_ladders_openings