Ladder and Scaffolding Safety When Painting
Ladder accidents alone account for 90,000 injuries every year. These injuries involve men, woman and children. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) believes that 100% of all ladder accidents could be prevented, if proper attention to equipment and climber training were provided.
Of the 90,000 injuries, almost 700 are deaths from falling and these numbers continue to grow. Ladders injuries have increased 50% over the last 10yrs and over half of all injuries are caused when “Carrying Items While Climbing”
Before you set up the ladder, make sure there are no power lines that can come in contact with the extension ladder.
Make sure your ladder is set up with the proper ladder angle. This is extremely important. For every 4ft. of ladder length, the base of the ladder should be 1ft. out from the base of building or from the eave of the house, whichever is the furthest point from the building.
Make sure the ladders feet are level before climbing. If the ground feels loose, dig the feet into the ground to prevent the base of the ladder from slipping.
When placing an aluminum extension ladder against an aluminum gutter, you will need to tie off the top of the ladder to prevent it from being blown down by a gust of wind. Metal against metal creates a very slippery surface. Attach a rope to one of the gutter brackets to secure it in place.
When climbing a ladder, never carry tools or equipment. You should maintain 3 points of contact at all times. 2 hands and 1 foot or 2 feet and 1 hand.
When painting from a ladder, a new product called the Buddy System from Big Boy Ind. allows a painter a hands-free solution by having a paint bucket holder that attaches to your belt. It has a custom designed removable dripless paint bucket that drops down inside the holder for a secure fit. The paint bucket also has a brush holding magnet to carry the brush.
The dripless paint bucket holds over a quart of paint which is more than enough paint to cover the area you can work from a ladder.
When working off an extension ladder, keep your belt buckle inside the rail of the ladder. Never lean further out than the middle of your waist. You could cause the ladder to shift and lose your balance.
Working from a scaffolding is another area of concern. 37% of all construction falls are from ladders and scaffoldings. Scaffolding accidents tend to be more serious than ladder accidents. Ladder accidents account for 15 days absence from work and scaffolding accidents account for 21 days lost from work.
Along with climbing accidents, there are other hazards involved with scaffoldings.
You should always maintain a clean deck surface to walk on. Workers can trip and fall from tools and material being in their way. You can also seriously injure someone down below you from knocking things off the scaffolding or even cause property damage.
A safer way to work when painting off of scaffolding is to use the Buddy System paint bucket holder with dripless paint bucket that positions your paint bucket at your side for easy access.
This eliminates having a paint bucket that you will need to either carry or place it on the deck surface where it could cause you to trip and fall and cause a serious accident.
To refill the Buddy System, you can use a rope to tie off a refill gallon kept on the ground safely out of the way. When needed, pull up the gallon of paint. The Buddy System also has tool openings for 2 screw drivers and a multi-purpose tool. Just take out the multi-purpose tool and remove the lid of the refill gallon and full up the bucket. Place the lid back on the gallon and lower it to the ground.
We’re all in such a big hurry that a lot of these accidents could be prevented if you use some common sense and the proper tools for the job.
Scaffolding has been traced back to over 17,000 yrs. ago. Cave paintings in Lascaux suggest that scaffolding was used for painting the ceilings by finding sockets in the walls to hold wood supports.
The ladder has been in use well before 5000BC. There is no record of when the first ladder was invented.