Working on and around staircases can be dangerous. Maintenance work still needs to be done even though stairways and ladders are major sources of injuries and fatalities among workers. Luckily, we have some tips to help you and your team when you have to work in these tricky spots.
Here are the general OSHA requirements for working on stairs:
-When there is a break in elevation of 19 inches or more and no ramp, runway, embankment or personnel hoist available, employers must provide a stairway or ladder at all worker points of access.
-When there is only one point of access between levels, employers must keep it clear of obstacles to permit free passage by workers. If free passage becomes restricted, employers must provide a second point of access and ensure that workers use it.
-When there are more than two points of access between levels, employers, must ensure that at least one point of access remains clear.
How to Stay Safe
Even with following these guidelines, performing maintenance work in the staircase can be tricky. Luckily, there are some great products out there designed to help you safely work in tricky spots. There is the Dark Horse from Little Giant. The Dark Horse can be used as an extension ladder, stepladder, or on the stairs. Another option is using the Little Giant Aerial Safety Cage. The Cage makes it easy to follow all tie off rules while keeping your hands free. The Cage can also be used on the stairs.
Almost all accidents can be prevented through proper training and proper use. Hopefully, these tips can help you and your team stay safe when you have to work on staircases.