ladderWhen it comes to ladder safety, avoiding fines and fatalities is a big concern. Three of OSHA’s top ten “serious” violations in 2015 were related to falls. Every day, one person dies in a ladder-related accident. Fall prevention is a focal point for safety leaders.

A session Monday by David A. Francis discussed the most commonly cited fines for ladder use and how to avoid them. More than half of ladder-related fines (55 percent) in 2015 were for ladders not being at least three feet above the landing. Thirteen percent of citations last year were for wrong use of a ladder. Ten percent were for standing on the top step of a ladder, which is never supposed to be used for standing. Six percent of all citations were for ladders in bad shape.

Three percent of citations were for violating the standard that says employees shall not carry any object or load that could cause the employee to lose balance and fall. This is basically for not utilizing the three points of contact rule that many companies have in place. If you are using both hands to conduct work, Francis said, use your body as a point of contact.

The top five citations mentioned above account for 85 percent of all fall-related citations. Thirty-five people are permanently disabled every day and one will be a fatality, according to statistics.

Francis recommended everyone download and use a phone app by NIOSH, which is free and details the inspection process and offers safety tips.

Download the app for free at Apple Store, Google Play  available in English and Spanish. Click here for more information.