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Climbing the Ladder

Many jobs require a worker to bring their equipment up the ladder. In doing so, this removes a hand from the ladder and creates a fall hazard. The best way to reduce the fall hazard when climbing is to use tool lanyards, bungees or pouches. These clip the tools to the harness or belt on a worker and allow them to use both hands while climbing.

Surprising tools or products that need to be tied off or in a pouch:

  • Cell phones / smartphones,
  • Electronics
  • Digital scanners /readers
  • Power drills, installation devices
  • Hand tools

Working from the Ladder

It is very rare to work from directly on a ladder. Often times the worker needs to extend past the width of the ladder to reach their task. This increases the chance of the ladder or the worker falling. OSHA mandates the a worker needs to maintain three points of contact with a ladder at all times. Using a harness and hook system allows the worker to comply with this regulation while still being able to work off the ladder. 

Common Jobs where a harness and hook system are needed:

  • Window Cleaning
  • Window Installation / Repair
  • Gutter Cleaning
  • Gutter Installation / Repair
  • Roof Cleaning
  • Roof Installation / Repair
  • Pest Control Installation

Harness

Harnesses are built for a variety of different purposes. Many of them have a number of attachment points on the harness that may look like good places to attach a safety device. Be sure to attach to a D-Ring rated for positioning or falls. Some attachment points are only for securing tools. In addition to checking for the rating of the attachment point, make sure that you have one on the front. This system is required to meet OSHA fall ratings and be a front attachment. 

Ladder Hook

The hook in the harness and hook system is the device that connects your harness to the ladder. These needs to comply with OSHA fall regulations. This connect to the ladder and shortens up to keep you within working distance. When you stay close to the ladder, you fall directly down or on the ladder, rather than off or away. Combine with a ladder lock and the ladder and the worker stays put. 

Ladder Lock

The harness and hook system does not completely remove all risks from falling off the ladder on its own. A worker could potentially bring the ladder down with them as they fall. Using a ladder lock allows the worker to clamp the ladder to the gutters or to the building it is leaning on. This keeps the ladder from moving left, right, or back in case the worker falls while attached with a harness and hook.