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A Guide to Safe Ladder User

By June 11, 2020No Comments
Staying Safe When Using Ladders

Ladders are one of the leading causes of accidental injuries and even deaths both around the home and on the job. Certain obvious factors make using any kind of ladder an inherently risky affair, but that risk can be reduced to a minimal level by following some fairly common sense rules. We’ve divided the following into step ladder safety tips and tips for extensions ladders, plus some general guidance on ladder load-limits for both types.

Step Ladder Safety

The following rules are a great guide to using any size step ladder safely, whether it’s a platform step laddersingle sided, or double sided step ladder:

  • When opening any step ladder, double check that the two hinged metal ‘spreader’ braces are locked and parallel to the ground.
  • Always find even ground or an even surface to use a step ladder – never set one up off kilter.
  • Don’t go higher than the third step from the top, and never stand or sit on the very top of the ladder.
  • Step ladders have a distinct front and back – even if it seems feasible, never climb the back side of a step ladder. Also, avoid having more than one person climbing, unless using a specialised two-person model.
  • Keep your hips within the vertical rails to avoid overbalancing.
  • A step ladder is a step ladder is a step ladder – so don’t lean a closed one up against a wall and use it like something it isn’t.
  • If your ladder has extra features like a paint shelf or tool tray, don’t stand on it – this should be obvious.
  • Always close a step ladder and put it away safely after use. Aside from being a tripping hazard, if there are children around who start playing on it a serious accident could ensue.
  • Make sure the ladder is rated for your weight.

Staying Safe on Extension Ladders

Extension ladders are the simplest and most convenient way to reach high areas around your home. But they are inherently a little riskier than step ladders, so it’s very important to abide by the following safety rules:

  • Be careful not to overbalance an extension ladder when setting it up. The safest method is to lay it feet first against the wall, then raise the top until the ladder stands almost vertical. Then, keeping it steady, grab a rung around thigh height and carefully walk the base of the ladder out to rest at a safe angle to the wall.
  • Before raising the telescopic section of your ladder, make sure you’ve read the instructions on the correct way to do so for the model you have.
  • To get the ideal angle for your ladder divide its height by four. So an eight metre ladder should have its base 2 metres from the wall during use to be safe.
  • Only use a ladder on even ground where both feet touch the ground firmly.
  • Never use an extension ladder when the ground is wet, muddy, or icy.
  • Treat the fourth rung from the top as if it were the top rung.
  • When climbing up or down a ladder always face it with both hands on the rungs, not the rails, and always keep your hips within the rails. If you need tools, use a tool belt or similar to carry them.
  • Have a ‘spotter’ – someone to stand at the base of the ladder and keep it steady.
  • Make sure the ladder is rated for your weight.

Learn More

To find out more or enquire about our ladders for sale online and in our ladder shops in Brisbane and elsewhere around QLD, get in touch today.

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