While climbing a ladder may not seem like the most ideal time to be asking questions, it is a must. Falls from ladders in Brisbane are very common, and are one of the most prominent causes of injury on construction sites. This is true not only in Brisbane, but throughout Australia. That’s more than enough reason to stop and think before you climb.
Before stepping onto any ladder, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is a ladder the best tool for this job?
While ladders are more convenient and portable than most other elevating tools, it is by far the most unstable. Unlike scaffolding and elevated work platforms, ladders are not firmly secured to anything unless you secure them. Compared to other elevating tools then, ladders are the most risky. If you have the option to use other, more stable platforms or tool extensions, it would be wise to use these instead of ladders in order to minimise risk.
It would also be best to opt out of using ladders in the following situations:
- If the job requires you to lift heavy loads or hand-carry several items at a time
- If the job requires you to operate power tools with both hands
- If the job involves heavy force or leverage that can affect your balance
- If the job requires you to stay on the ladder for more than 30 minutes
- If the job requires you to reach out and work beyond the ladder stiles
- If more than one person needs to work on the job
- If the job requires you to face away from the ladder
- If at any time your view is limited while working (i.e. wearing a welding mask)
- Do I know how to use a ladder properly?
There are specific guidelines you need to follow in order to use ladders safely and properly. It is vital that you are aware of these before you use a ladder so you can practise utmost care and minimise risks. It would be wise to receive training first on the proper use of ladders, or at least have someone who is trained present to supervise you as you work.
- Is it safe to use a ladder in this environment?
Check your surroundings. Make sure that the conditions are safe and ideal for using a ladder. Things to consider:
- Weather – If you are outside and the weather is wet or windy, it may be safer to do the work at a later time.
- Obstructions – You need to make sure that the ladder will not come across wires, ropes, cables and the like, and will not get hit by swinging doors, pedestrians, pets or other moving objects.
- Surface – The ladder needs to be placed on a level, stable surface. If you’re not using a platform ladder, make sure that the ladder you’re using is leaning against a sturdy structure. These surfaces should not be wet or slippery, mobile or removable. If the surface is not level, make sure you have a sturdy levelling device and/or stabiliser.
- Location – The ladder must not be positioned anywhere where the danger of falling is increased, such as near a balcony or ledge.
- Am I using the right ladder?
Different ladders are made for different tasks. Make sure you select the right one for the job. Aside from selecting the right type of ladder, you also need to consider the quality of the ladder. If the ladder is showing signs of damage or is not working as well as it should, it would be safer to use another one.
To ensure you get high quality ladders, get them from a reliable source, like Vetner. We supply only the best brands of ladders, and never compromise on quality. We have Ladamax, Branach, Werner, Gorilla and Bailey ladders for sale and so much more. Visit our store today for quality ladders you can trust.