There’s a saying around construction sites that a safe job site is a happy job site. When ladders are in use, it’s good reason to be especially safe. Falls from even short distances can cause major injuries and even death. Professional Roofing magazine reports that, in the United States, an average of six roofers die every month from falls. And, of course, even one death is too many.
Being safe on ladders begins with having the right industrial ladder on the job site. Ladders should be purchased from a reputable ladder supply company in Marietta, GA that sells construction-grade, commercial equipment. When ladders are required to grant access to roof areas for roofing installation, it’s even more critical that the appropriate industrial roofing ladders are used for their strength and stability.
For ladder safety, it’s important that the job site is clean and well organized in the areas where ladders are used. That can be easier said than done with all the building materials coming into a job site, as well as the construction debris that collects and needs to be discarded. After a foundation has been poured, the building framing set, and the roof attached, you still have unfinished dirt areas around the building that are often uneven. This is where special care should be made to set ladders in a flat area. Dig and rake a flat area if necessary. Also, ladders shouldn’t be set around power lines or underground hazards. Metal ladders particularly should be kept away from electrical wires and boxes. Death can result if a metal ladder is set up near live electrical wires.
Roofers should do everything to minimize the risk of falling off a roof. Boots with good sole traction should be worn at all times. It’s also crucial to keep the roof edges and other areas free of construction debris. Compressors, hoses, and nail guns should be neat and orderly. It’s a good idea to mark areas with bright tape if extension cords are pulled up onto the roof from the ground level. Work should never be done around roof edges if the edges are wet. If work is required around wet edges, a safety harness should be worn.
The American Ladders Institute provides the following guidelines for ladder safety. They recommend always using a sturdy, professionally-manufactured ladder approved by the Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL-listed). Never construct a ladder yourself. Place the ladder on a level, solid footing. Avoid setting the ladder on a slope where the ladder will wobble side to side. It’s recommended that you tie or secure the top of the ladder to the area of the building you’re climbing so you won’t slip or pull away from the roof. The American Ladders Institute also recommends extending the ladder 36 inches above the roof eave. This will allow you to hold on the top of the ladder as you step onto the roof. On the ground, you can drive stakes and secure the ladder to the stakes.
The American Ladders Institute recommends that you lean the ladder at a reasonable slope. The base of the ladder should extend out one foot for every four feet of elevation. When you climb the ladder, face the ladder. As you climb, step on one rung at a time and maintain, at minimum, three points of contact with hands and feet. Hold onto the side rails and not the rungs.
And, when climbing a ladder, you should never exceed the weight limit, which is identified on the ladder. That means your body weight and any materials you’re carrying. Never leave ladders unattended. This will help prevent people from inappropriately using the ladder or grant unauthorized people access to roofs and other high places.
Contact Preferred Roofing at 678-395-6880 for more information on selecting the best industrial ladders for your roofing company.