We often don’t think about the ladder being a key tool in different work environments. However, in an industrial warehouse, ladders are essential in helping workers complete a number of necessary tasks.
Using ladders at a worksite can present a few problems that, at times, could affect a warehouse’s safety record. There is always the threat of a fall when it’s necessary to access a higher level.
The best plan of action in these situations is to put the health and well-being of your workers first and always use properly equipped safety ladders. These are an essential part of any industrial warehouse.
Safety ladders create a safer workplace
The biggest reason why companies should use proper safety ladders is to create a safe workspace. Ladders can be dangerous tools: according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 43% of deadly accidental falls have resulted from ladders.
Having the right kind of safety ladder installed at your jobsite can make a huge difference in preventing this type of tragedy. It’s also wise to choose the right materials and accessories for your safety ladder so that it can provide safe access to higher points in your warehouse.
Finally, you must spend time training employees on how to properly climb the ladder. Consider training your staff to use the standard three point-of-contact climb. They must also be aware of their center of gravity and its effect on their position on the ladder. Most of all, your team must always be aware of the possible risks and be committed to following all safety procedures when climbing ladders.
Safety ladders keep you in compliance with federal guidelines
Having safety ladders at your industrial warehouse can also help your company adhere to the federal work safety guidelines that are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA requires that fixed ladders in the workplace have a minimum set of safety standards.
These standards include details about specific safety features, such as ladder cages, wells, and baskets. With higher ladders, there also needs to be landing platforms that are positioned in specific spots.
Refusing or neglecting to comply with OSHA’s standards is a risky game. If you’re not staying up-to-date with OSHA’s changes in regulations, you run a high risk of receiving heavy fines or could even be shut down for safety violations. It’s crucial to be consistently informed about OSHA’s expectations for your facility.
In addition, voluntary consensus standards published by the American Ladder Institute (ALI) touch upon further guidelines for ladder safety. Compliance with these recommendations together with federal requirements makes for an exceptionally safe workplace.
Safety ladders assure your employees they’re working in a safe environment
Safety ladders, like many other types of equipment with special features, should be used in specific ways by employees. Workers who follow these guidelines are more likely to be successful in an industrial warehouse job setting.
When your team sees that your company takes safety seriously, they will be more likely to feel comfortable working in your facility. As your employees feel safe working together, they will strive to work more like a team. Studies show that teamwork in the workplace begets safety.
This safe environment doesn’t start and end with safety ladders. In order to assure your employees that they’re in a workplace that’s serious about safety, it’s important to implement ongoing training for all employees, including leadership staff. Everyone should be up-to-date on the basics of staying safe within your facility.
Safety ladders can help your business avoid potential liability issues
Additionally, safety ladders give your business some extra protection against potential liability. Business insurance costs continue to rise, no matter what your warehouse produces or provides.
Liability insurance can be a huge cost of doing business simply due to the nature of warehouse work. Many commercial insurance packages may offer special line item discounts if you demonstrate a commitment to safety with specific accessories or equipment featuring protection against accidents.
There is also a concern involving workmen’s compensation insurance. Resolving workmen’s comp claims can be a big expense for many business owners. Just in the construction industry, falls from ladders can cost employers approximately $54 million in workmen’s compensation claims in a single year.
The best way to help reduce the number of claims made by employees for workplace injuries is to put proper safety procedures in place. Make sure your ladder is maintained according to the manufacturer’s directions. This equates to scheduling periodic maintenance and regular inspections to assure it is ready for use. It’s also important to keep these ladders clean from debris or other materials.
If residue, grease or dirt gets left behind, make sure it is quickly cleaned off to avoid any damage setting into the ladder steps. Neglecting to clean the ladder may result in damage that could affect its structural soundness.
Safety ladders allow workers to access more areas of your warehouse
Lastly, a strong safety ladder is one of the best ways you can give your business flexibility when it comes to storage and access to different points at your worksite. With the large amount of open square footage in a warehouse, you often have to be creative to make sure your company is able to utilize all of its available space.
A safety ladder can give you better access to the real estate you’re paying for. With proper safety ladders, your workers can reach up to the highest points in your space. (Remember, it is still important to comply with safety codes. Do not stack or store items beyond what is allowed by these regulations.)
Industrial warehouses have an opportunity to take advantage of the benefits that safety ladders provide for their work environments. These tools can help your business do more while staying safe and preventing injury or loss of life.
Dakota Safety specializes in providing passive fall protection systems and safety products for clients across North America. They have a well-established reputation for creating innovative and cost-effective safety solutions for a range of businesses and organizations.