Hospitality Focus on Safety: Reaching and Ladder Safety
Reaching and Ladder related injuries have increased 50% over the last ten years and account for nearly 15% of all occupational injuries. According to OSHA, these injuries are 100% preventable, if employees follow safe practices.
- Selecting the wrong ladder
- Using worn or damaged ladders
- Using or placing ladders incorrectly
- Unsafe distances and angles between employee and target
- Adhere to the ladder’s maximum weight guidelines
- Use a ladder of appropriate height for the job. Do not place the ladder on an unstable object and do not stand on the top rung of the ladder.
- Inspect ladders on a regular basis and before each use. Repair or replace the ladder prior to using. Never use a ladder that is damaged in any way.
- A-frame ladders should not be leaned against a wall and should always have the extenders and spreaders are locked.
- Non self-supporting ladders should be positioned at such an angle that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about 1 ⁄4 the working length of the ladder.
- Never place a ladder behind a door that is not locked, blocked or guarded.
- Ensure non-slip feet are secure. If non-slip feet are not provided, a partner should be holding the ladder. Stake the ladder to the ground whenever possible.
- When possible, station tools or pull tools to the working level rather than carrying them up the ladder.
- Do not reach for items while standing on a ladder. Climb down, reposition and climb back up.
- Maintain three points of contact at all times, where three of your four limbs are in contact with the ladder at all times.
- Use a ladder, step stool or tool extender when contact with an object is more than an arm’s length away. Do not climb on slipper or unstable surfaces and do not extend arms and back beyond normal reach.
- Remove clutter and objects that are in the way, rather than reaching over or around.
In the event of an injury due to reaching or falling:
- Follow the guidelines for the incident found in the Emergency Binder.
- If you feel you may have incurred an injury of any kind, report it immediately to your supervisor.
- Be very clear on whether you require immediate medical attention, imminent medical attention or request additional accommodations to prevent injury in the future.
- Inspect the equipment surrounding you for any damages that should warrant its’ disposal.
- Report the incident to the Risk Management Team.
- Inform the staff of the incident and make corrections to procedures or errors to ensure that this incident does recur.
June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.