In Singapore a worker sustained and suffered from head injuries before succumbing to his injuries. He had on 21 April 2022 been at work and was working off a ladder and fell from a height of 1.2m from his A-Frame ladder. He had been using the ladder to try to hang items to the top of a tentage. He passed away 23 April 2022. Upon initial investigations, it should that it had been raining and the floor was wet and he was also using slippers when working on the ladder. A few months ago in Dec of 2021 there was another fatal incident with ladders.
If you note the height 1.2m, its also a height were not just workers but people in their houses may use ladders to do certain work. Whether to get to reach the top of a cabinet, change a light bulb or do house cleaning activities. While this accident happened in the work place, we can learn how we can prevent such accidents not just in the work place but at home.
We like to think of this
- Safe Place- where will you place the ladder and where will you climb to?
- Safe Tools and Equipment- Is the ladder and all the other equipment safe and has been checked?
- Safe Person- Is the person trained, aware and fit for the job?
- Safe Supervision and Instructions- Is there someone who supervises the work and has given correct instructions and has checked just in case the user misses out something.
The Ministry of Manpower and the Workplace Safety Health Council came up with some recommendations for the use of ladders or when people are working with ladders
● Select a good ladder:
Before using any ladder. Check if its the right ladder for the job. Whether its an A-frame ladder or a fire-mans ladder. Whether the height or dimensions are correct for the job. Check and confirm that the ladder is in good condition. Never use ladders that are damaged or contain loose or missing parts.
● Safe ladder location: Ensure you stand the ladder in the correct location. Place the ladder on stable and flat ground. Check that it is stable and does not move before even climbing it.
● Personal health and fitness: Check that the person about to climb the ladder is fit and healthy. Are they feeling tired, sick, dizzy etc. Do not allow anyone who is feeling unwell to get onto a ladder.
● Safe ladder use: Lock the spreaders before using an A-frame ladder. Maintain three points of contact when climbing up or down the ladder. Do not carry materials or tools as you climb. Never step on the top rung of the ladder.
● No overreaching: Overreaching means to reach out beyond the center of gravity of the ladder. Trying to reach for something beyond the ladders foot or legs. Overreaching can cause the ladder to become unstable. Instruct users to keep their weight centred between the ladder’s side rails at all times. Shift the ladder as necessary to avoid overreaching.
● Personal protection: Provide users
with anti-slip footwear. Equip workers with a safety helmet to protect against head injuries.