Ladders are incredibly important tools for handling a wide variety of challenging tasks, but failing to observe proper ladder safety guidance might lead to serious injury. Here’s what you need to know about using ladders safely.
If you use ladders regularly, it’s incredibly important to know proper safety protocols. When you follow the correct safety measures, you ensure reliable performance and significantly reduce hazard risks. Here are ladder safety measures for using your ladders.
Choosing the Right Ladder for the Job
One of the most important ladder safety guidelines is using the correct ladder for the application. Here are different ladder styles:
- Extension ladders: Ladders with multiple sections that can be adjusted to different heights. These aren’t self-supporting; they are stabilized against a wall or other secure horizontal surface.
- Platform ladders: These are a type of step ladder, sometimes with handrails and a large platform upon which items can be placed. They are generally regarded as being safer than standard step ladders, with larger step surfaces.
- Rolling ladders: These ladders are also called rolling staircases. These are commonly found in industrial settings like warehouses, fulfillment centers, and places where items must frequently be retrieved from high storage shelves. These are ladders that are typically attached to a track on a shelving unit, where they can be rolled along in a straight line parallel to the shelf.
- Step ladders: These are self-supporting, A-shaped ladders with a height range of 6 to upwards of 30 feet.
- Step stools: These are small step ladders that are typically a maximum of 3 feet; any step stool higher than 2 feet must have hand railings.
- Straight ladders: Straight ladders are non-adjustable units consisting of two parallel side rails and evenly spaced rungs connecting them. These ladders are non-supporting; they must be leaned against a surface for usability.
Each type of ladder has a duty rating that describes the maximum load capacity, ranging from light-duty for household use to heavy-duty for maximum durability. Make sure you can clearly read the duty rating on every ladder. Moreover, you must calculate the weight of the clothes, tools, safety equipment, and accessories you’ll be carrying as you ascend the ladder.
Ladder Safety Checklist
- Have you checked the rails for cracks or damage?
- Have you checked that the rungs are sound and not cracked, bent, or loose?
- Have you checked the top of the ladder to make sure it’s secure?
- Are the labels prominent and readable?
- Do all the moving parts work properly?
- Are you using the appropriate duty rating?
If you discover significant damage to the integrity of your ladder, it must be replaced. The damaged ladder must be discarded in a manner that renders it unusable.
Alaco Ladder Company offers a broad selection of high-performance ladders, from beautiful loft ladders to industrial ladders for marine, factory, or agricultural purposes. For more than 100 years, we have provided customized, American-made ladders for a variety of applications.
To learn more about our services or to receive a quote, please contact our representatives for more information.
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