National Safety Stand Down – Ladders on the Roof

Ladders are a common and necessary tool in the construction industry.  Roofers climb up and down ladders numerous times each day – exposing the workers to falls with each step taken.  Falls can be fatal and are one of the leading causes of injuries and death in the construction industry.

Some workers may climb ladders numerous times each day and they can become very comfortable climbing the ladder. Climbing can become as easy to some workers as walking up steps is to the average person. This comfort can lead to complacency.

Before stepping foot on a ladder remember to: Stop, Think and Remind yourself that it only takes a split second to fall. Many deaths occur each year from falling less than 10 feet. Do not become complacent!

The set-up of the ladder and proper climbing are keys to preventing ladder falls. Always remember: set your ladder up on a level surface, use the 4:1 ratio; avoid obstructions and high traffic areas; and, always maintain a distance of at least 10 feet from power lines.

When climbing a ladder, always maintain 3-point contact – that means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times. Put both hands firmly on the rungs before stepping onto a ladder. Break 3-point contact only when you reach the ground or a stable platform.  Also, when climbing a ladder extend portable ladders a minimum of 36 inches above the roof edge and do not forget to secure the ladder.

About National Safety Stand Down:

The National Safety Stand Down is organized by the Department of Labor to prevent falls in construction. ​Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.

Blog contributed by Curtis Lambert, Skyline Safety Manager

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