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Use Ladders Safely Outdoors


Anyone who uses a ladder should take extra precautions when working outdoors around electrical hazards—to prevent shock or electrocution.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has recommendations for work sites that can be applied to anyone using a ladder—whether for personal use or on the job.
  • Before using a ladder, identify nearby overhead power lines. Note their distance from work areas and always assume power lines are energized.
  • Consider the length of the ladder you’re using, allowing room for raising and lowering the ladder.
  • Contact Bandera Electric Cooperative if work needs to be done near overhead power lines.
  • Don’t use metal ladders near power lines.
  • Ensure conductive objects are kept at least 10 feet away from lines.
  • Make sure that ladders are stable, level and supported to prevent movement into a power line.
  • Carry ladders horizontally, not vertically, and have someone help carry and set up large ladders.
  • For every 4 feet between the ground and the upper point on which the ladder rests, set the feet of the ladder out 1 foot horizontally.
  • Never touch a person or ladder that has made contact with an overhead power line. Call 911 and BEC immediately.
Falls are always a possibility when using ladders. Follow these guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to avoid a spill.
  • Inspect ladders for damage before use.
  • Only use ladders on stable, level surfaces.
  • Always face the ladder and maintain three points of contact when climbing it.
  • Do not use a ladder while it’s in a closed position.
  • Do not use the top step of a ladder unless it was designed for that purpose.
  • Do not move a ladder while a person or piece of equipment is on it.
  • Observe the maximum load rating of the ladder and be aware of the user’s weight combined with any equipment.
  • Place nonfolding ladders so that they extend at least 3 feet beyond the point of support.

Posted: 9/7/2020 11:00:00 AM
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