Ladder Safety awareness comes in all shapes and sizes, from obvious situations like climbing a fixed ladder in a customer store to less obvious situations like climbing a small step ladder in an office. Recently, there was a misstep on a small four-foot step ladder. Although we generally think of a 4-foot stepladder as relatively harmless, this misstep resulted in a broken wrist requiring surgery and a six to eight-week recovery. Always check your footing while using ladders, as 20 percent of ladder injuries are caused by missing the last step.
The picture above is an actual customer site where the fixed ladder is obstructed by a garage door track. It blocks the path of the climb and does not have the OSHA required clearance shown in Figure D-5. It was reported to EHS as an unsafe condition. When climbing a fixed ladder, there should be no obstructions at the foot of the ladder or on the path of the ladder that will impede you from ascending or descending. Nothing should be overhead that would cause you to lose your three points of contact. If you encounter a similar situation, do not climb the ladder, and contact your manager for guidance. You can reach the EHS team at (844) 772-7233 or at EHS@CoolSys.com.