Many fall injuries among workers involve ladders, a common problem construction sites experience. This simple piece of equipment is involved in an alarmingly high rate of workplace accidents and injuries, and this is why it needs to be inspected regularly.
An ideal ladder inspection checklist should be short and straightforward and should not contain complicated language. It is important to consider the type of ladder being used due to the various components required for different types of ladders (metal, fibreglass and wood).
The right inspection will ensure your ladders are safe to use and must contain the following:
This aspect needs to be visually inspected because if it is damaged or missing, this can result in slips or the loss of balance, and consequences can include severe injuries or even a deadly fall, so footpads and feet assembly must be inspected regularly to prevent this from happening.
While it’s true that ladders are simple, they still contain various components, including steps, rungs, rails, rung locks, feet, and rope and pulley assembly, to name a few examples. These parts must all be present and should function correctly, so all parts need to be inspected thoroughly before a ladder is used. Ladders that are wobbly or unstable can result in severe consequences and are often the result of loose locking braces or spreaders.
All labels on the ladders must be clear and legible so make sure they have not been damaged, painted over or scratched off.
Rungs and steps
These need to be clean because greasy, muddy and dirty rungs and steps can cause slips and falls. Clean these regularly; otherwise, dirt and grime will accumulate, which can be very dangerous.
All damaged ladders must be removed from service, so do not try to repair a broken or damaged ladder using duct tape, wires or electrical tape. This is incredibly dangerous, but attempting to fix a ladder on your own will also affect the ladder’s compliance with the standard in which it was certified.
There’s a reason why manufacturers provide instructions for proper inspection, so follow this information carefully. Using the ladder for reasons other than its intended purpose can void its warranty, so stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations and remember that specific ladders have specific uses, and a step ladder, for example, should never be folded and used as an extension ladder.
This is just one small example of how complex installations can be. If one relatively simple piece of equipment such as a ladder requires this much time and attention dedicated to its safety considerations, imagine all of the equipment used on a regular site! With technology shifting and moving forward to help us adapt and improve efficiency, it is imperative for companies to use faster and accurate inspection software.
With the sheer amount of equipment in a job site, and with all of it having to be inspected regularly, the task can get monumental in size, with Field Eagle, you can make your inspections fast, accurate, and can centralize the information for review at any time.