Performing Pre-use Inspection Important for Ladder Users

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Bechtel - DOE Contracts, Hanford Waste Treatment Plant - WTP/WTCC (Various Locations)

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Occupational Safety and Health, Training and Qualification, Work Management/Planning, Material Handling/Storage, Fall Protection

A Field Safety Assurance Representative at the Department of Energy Waste Treatment Plant Low Activity Waste Facility, identified a number of fiberglass A-frame and extension ladders with noticeable damage during a routine night shift safety walk down. The damage consisted of cracks and chips in the fiberglass rails and adjacent to or between the ladder rivets. The safety representative tagged the ladders with a "Danger Damaged Defective Tool" tag and had the ladders removed from service. Follow up inspections identified additional damaged ladders. Lesson Learned: It only takes a few minutes to perform a pre-use inspection. Do not assume that the ladder is safe just because it has been inspected and documented on a monthly or quarterly basis. The ladder may have been damaged since the ladder was last inspected. It only takes a second for a damaged or defective ladder to collapse, resulting in an injury. Take ladder inspection seriously and give it your full attention.

NOTE: There are two other similar Lessons Learned on fiberglass ladders available in OPEXShare.
Significant Near Miss Involving a Fiberglass Extension Ladder - Published October 25, 2012
Ladder Inspection Identifies Multiple Fiberglass Ladders with Similar Structural Damage - Published June 12, 2013

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