Safety Corner

February: Ladders on Soft Ground

Ladders are a tool that is often connected with accidents. Charlie Gardner, Center consultant, witnessed a near-miss ladder accident recently while helping to put a new roof on a home. Mike, a friend, was starting the first row of shingles, working off a ladder that was leaned against the edge of the roof. He needed another shingle, and called down to Mark, another friend who was on the ground. Mark started up the ladder to hand Mike a few shingles. The weight of the second person on the ladder caused it to sink further into the ground, sliding off the edge of the roof and falling against the house startling both men on the ladder. Mike started to fall backwards while Mark, half way up the ladder, caught Miked and they both fell backward to the ground. Fortunately, neither man was hurt. Charlie advises, “Make sure your ladder is on a stable foundation. Also, a ladder is intended to have only one person on it at a time.” As spring arrives and warmer weather softens the ground, find a solid platform for ladders and other equipment to avoid accidents.