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Ladder Safety

Time to Review Ladder Safety

According to the American Ladder Institute (ALI), every year more than 300 people die in ladder-related accidents. Thousands suffer disabling injuries. That’s why the ALI has declared March National Ladder Safety Month – the organization wants to raise awareness of ladder safety. As you plan ahead for the coming month, consider using March as a time to emphasize ladder safety both to your customers and staff.

First, this is a good opportunity for you to be a resource for your customers who may be overseeing employees, whether it’s on a construction job site or in a commercial/industrial workspace. Improper use of ladders is among the top 10 most frequently cited safety violations, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers can help protect their workers and avoid OSHA citations if they encourage safety in the workplace. Use Ladder Safety Month to remind those customers about the importance of reviewing proper safety techniques with their employees. You can offer them resources available at www.laddersafetymonth.com. Resources include a downloadable ladder safety checklist and online training modules. By having this information available, you can help position yourself as not only a retailer who can sell them the products they need, but also someone who is interested in helping them run a better business.

Promoting Ladder Safety Month is also a good opportunity for you to reinforce ladder safety with your employees. You’ll want to protect your employees and protect yourself from OSHA violations. One option is to hold a short ladder training session during an employee meeting. You can also visit www.laddersafetymonth.com for online training. In addition, make sure you’ve created a safe work environment. If you have a storeroom with items stored on high shelves, have a rolling metal stepladder with handrails available for retrieving items on the top shelf. For other tasks, use small aluminum step ladders with hand holds. These allow employees to stabilize themselves when climbing. Make sure to place large, heavy and awkwardly shaped items on lower shelves so employees don’t need a ladder to reach them.

Finally, don’t forget about do-it-yourselfers using ladders at home. As you are selling ladders or talking to customers about projects that involve ladders, use Ladder Safety Month as a way to reinforce proper ladder usage.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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