Safe use of portable ladders

Whether you are a plumber, painter, electrician, maintenance worker or any other trade professional, portable ladders are the first choice for difficult-to-reach tasks. Whether it is A frame or extension ladder, we believe that they are the safest way of working. This may not be the case. The ladder may be unstable, especially if it is not used correctly. Therefore, it is important that workers know how to use portable ladders correctly and safely.

1. Angle

Extension ladders and straight ladders must be set at an appropriate angle to prevent them from tilting backwards. This angle is a 4:1 ratio. In other words, for every 4 feet of height from the ground to the point of contact between the ladder and the structure, the base must be one foot from the structure. Now, most of the time, no one will destroy the tape measure. There are two simple ways to tell if you are at the right angle. 1) Stand at the bottom of the ladder and let your toes touch it. Place your arms at a 90-degree angle to your body. If your hand touches the rail or sidebar, your angle is approximately 4:1.

2) Fix portable ladder

Most people worry about the ladder tilting back, but in reality it is more likely to move laterally. Therefore, it is very important to fix the ladder (near the top) to the structure to prevent it from moving. Do not use the adjustment rope of the ladder to fix it to the structure. Make sure someone fixes the ladder in place during the initial setup.


2. Proper height

Your ladder must be 3'higher than the height you are climbing, or it must have a handrail that extends 3'upwards. Although this is important when removing the ladder, it is even more important when installing the ladder from the top. The last thing you want is for someone to walk to the edge of a building or platform and have to bend down to grab a ladder. A moment of dizziness may end in disaster. To see if your ladder extends correctly, calculate the rungs. There is about one foot between the rungs. 

3. Settings

If it is not installed in a safe location from the beginning, the ladder will never be a safe tool. Make sure your ladder is on a firm, level ground with safety feet in place. If you need to lift your feet to dig surface materials, this is their purpose. For type A ladders, make sure you have fully opened the ladder and locked it in place. A frame should not be used when folded or partially closed. This is not the purpose of the ladder, nor the way it is tested.

4. Maximum height

The ladder has the maximum working height. You will notice a label that says "Don't work on or above this step." Pay special attention to the "at or above" part. Most people look at it and think they can take that step, but can't go beyond it. This is not the case. Of course, never step on or sit on a ladder. In addition, the label on the side of the ladder contains the maximum working height in case you are unsure. If you can't read the label, it's a completely different problem, and you need a new ladder.

5. Labels and paint

The label on the ladder must be legible. If they are worn or painted, you cannot use ladders. In addition, you must be able to inspect your ladder for cracks, defects, and damage. Painting the ladder with opaque paint may prevent you from doing this, so don't paint your ladder.

ladder (2)

6. Safe use

You can set up the ladder as safely as possible according to your needs. If you use it unsafely, you will still get injured. Always maintain three contact points when climbing a ladder. This means two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot. This will prevent you from carrying tools or materials in your hands-which is a good thing. When working at heights, your tools should at least be placed on the tool belt or tool vest. At best, they should be tied to you. Also, keep your center of gravity between the side rails-don't lean to one side or the other. Watch out for other dangerous or unsafe conditions. For example, many ladder accidents occur when employees install the ladder on top by swinging around the ladder. Maybe you can buy a ladder top cover to eliminate this danger. These tops connect to the top of the ladder and extend the necessary 3'above the surface you are climbing, while allowing workers to pass through them instead of bypassing them. Finally, only use the ladder as expected. If you do not intend to separate the parts, do not separate them. Don't tie the parts together. Do not climb on the sides of the A frame unless it is specifically designed for it.

7. Ladder inspection

A ladder is a tool, so you need to treat them like a ladder. As with any other tool, you need to check your ladder before using it, and if there are any problems, stop using it. Don't take risks. A new ladder is much cheaper than a broken bone or loss of life.

8. Training

Don't trust your employees to know how to use them safely just because we use ladders at home. People always use ladders incorrectly. As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your employees are properly trained in the safe use of ladders and that you have designated a qualified ladder personnel.

Ladder is a very familiar and very useful tool, but because of this, people tend to become complacent when using them. Unfortunately, complacency can be the enemy of security. If you want to choose ladders as the right way for employees to complete their tasks, make sure they fully understand how to use ladders safely. The ladder is very cheap. People are not.

2022-09-17 13:35