People have a fear of climbing ladders. According to an omnibus Internet study of 1000 adults, climbing 25 feet high on an extension ladder causes more anxiety than cutting with a sharp knife, using a chainsaw, working with electricity, public speaking, asking for a raise, talking to children about human sexuality, or getting pulled over by the police.
So, why does climbing a ladder cause so much anxiety? The truth is that every single time someone climbs a ladder, there is a risk involved. What can be done to help eliminate the risk and help people overcome fear of ladders?
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Training is crucial in helping people not only feel comfortable when climbing ladders, but also knowing how to climb them safety. The basics remain the same – maintain three points of contact, stay off the top cap on stepladders, follow the three foot rule with extension ladders, and always make sure your ladder is leaning at the proper angle. By being properly trained on correct ladder use, your employees can be fully prepared for what to keep in mind when climbing ladders. They will also most likely feel more comfortable on the ladders, overcoming their fear.
While you are training employees on ladder use, make sure you let them know they will be held accountable if they do not follow the safety guidelines. Then, keep your word. Make sure you talk to an employee when he or she violated safety guidelines and then take the appropriate disciplinary action.
Practice Makes Perfect
Like most things, the more people climb ladders, the more they will be comfortable on the ladder. This comfort can be good, but it can also be risky because there is a chance they will get sloppier as they get more comfortable. Make sure you continue training as they become more used to using the ladder to make sure they don’t develop bad habits.
Remember, almost all ladder accidents can be prevented. By proper training, enforcement and practice, you can help others be safe on ladders and overcome fear of ladders.