The ladder can make many tasks easier, but it poses a continuous safety risk. Even the best ladder is not safe if it is not used properly. Ladder accidents lead to many serious injuries every year. Consider how to work safely with a ladder before using one. To use a ladder safely, it must be built well and secure. Each type of ladder has a different style, from stepladders to straight ladders to extension ladders. Further, they can be constructed from various materials like wood, aluminum, and fiberglass.
Each year, ladders cause hundreds of injuries. Those who work in construction, retail, and building maintenance are most likely to suffer injuries, however, any worker who works at height is at risk.
What should you do when you use a ladder?
The following practices might be helpful for employers or ladder owners to prevent workers or homeowners from falling off ladders, such as stepladders and extension ladders:
What should you do when you use a ladder?
- Identify the appropriate (size, height) ladder for each task.
- The safety feet (anti-skid) should be functioning properly.
- Don’t place ladders against windows or surfaces that are uneven.
- If the ladder cannot be steadied otherwise, ask someone to steady it.
- Lift ladders and carry them with proper techniques.
- Step; rung; side rail joints are all required to be tight.
- Grease and/or oil must not be present on the rungs.
- While ascending and descending, face the ladder
- Don’t move a ladder that is holding a person or ant equipment
- Don’t overreach while working from a ladder. Do not allow your body to leave the rails at any time
- Make sure there are no physical defects before using. Labels need to be visible and legible.
- Be careful around overhead obstructions and power lines (stay at least 10′ away from them).
- Please use ladders only for climbing and do not use them for skids, braces, or workbenches.
- Never carry anything that will make it difficult for you to grasp a ladder with both hands when climbing or descending a ladder.
- Whenever working near electrical sources, you should use a fiberglass (non-conductive) ladder.
- Place a warning sign before placing a ladder in front of a door.
- A ladder can only be used by one person at a time.
- It is not advisable to paint ladders except for numbering.
- When descending a ladder, do not jump
What should you do when you use a stepladder?
- You should not use the stepladder’s steps or platform for putting tools or materials
- A stepladder’s upper two steps cannot be used as a step or a stand.
- The spreaders must always be locked into place, and all four feet of the stepladder must be leveled.
- It is not advisable to use stepladders as straight ladders.
- Make sure the ladder is placed on a solid, flat surface.
The top of a stepladder should be accessible from two steps below, and you should be able to reach four feet at least, if you have a normal height. A 4-foot ladder will usually be able to get a ceiling of 8 feet. Stepladder tops should never be used as steps. Using this chart, you can determine the ladder height you are needed.
|Work Height (feet)||Ladder Height (feet)|
What should you do when you use a straight or extension ladder?
- For work on elevated surfaces, ladders must extend at least 3 feet beyond the supporting object.
- Check that the safety latches are engaged after raising an extension portion of a multistage ladder to its desired height.
- Give a ladder four feet of space between its base and the vertical support.
- To prevent falling off a ladder, tie it to the support as much as possible. Fix the ladder’s feet with stakes and ties.
- Be careful not to stand on the top four rungs of a ladder.
- Read the manufacturer’s guidelines for ladder lengths and overlaps before you start climbing:
|Up to 36 feet ladder||3 feet|
|Over 36 to 48 feet ladder||4 feet|
|Over 48 to 60 ladder||5 feet|
To prevent ladder displacement, secure both sides of the ladder—each ladder must have safe (nonskid) feet.
The horizontal spacing of a ladder from the wall must be set to equal one-quarter of its working length (4:1).
So, this was the information you should know while you use a ladder. If you would like to make any suggestions regarding ladder safety or work at heights in general or precisely, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Enjoy using the ladder!