Basic Ladder Safety Tips

Ladders are used for climbing. Just like any other tool, ladders too have some basic safety rules. You need to follow these ladder safety rules when using a ladder.

Ladder Safety Tips

  • Don’t step on the ladder if you can’t maintain your balance or are feeling dizzy or tired.
  • Never use a ladder during a storm or high winds people have falled and died during storms.
  • Don’t wear leather-soled shoes when climbing a ladder. They are prone to slippage and thus, aren’t safe for ladder use. Wear shoes that are clean and slip-resistant when scaling a ladder.   
  • Inspect the ladder before using it and make sure that it isn’t broken.
    • Reject any ladders that have missing or loose parts. Also reject ladders that are rickety and can’t stand straight.
  • Select the right sized ladder for your job.
    • The combined weight of the supplies, tools, objects, and the climber should be smaller than the Duty Rating of the ladder. The ladder must be long enough that the climber can reach his destination without having to stand on the top step.
  • Place the ladder on level ground when setting it up for use. There should be no kind of slippage at any of the top or base support points of the ladder.
  • The ladder should be used by one person at a time. Don’t have multiple climbers on the ladder unless it is a Trestle Ladder which is designed specifically for that purpose.
  • Don’t place the ladder in front of a closed door unless it is guarded, locked, blocked, or open. Doors opening toward the ladder aren’t suitable for placing ladders. 
  • Every ladder has a safety information label on it. Read it before using the ladder.
    • Some ladders have on-product information which is specific to them. You need to familiarize yourself with this information otherwise you won’t be considered fit to use that ladder.

 

The Three Point-of-Contact Climb

Falling from a ladder can be attributed to a variety of different factors. The user’s shoes might be an issue or they might be old or unfit. The ladder might not be in good condition or the user might not be paying attention when climbing. Going too quickly or a sudden movement can all be contributing factors to a fall.

  • Falls might be caused by improper climbing poster as it makes the user clumsy. However, posture doesn’t depend on the size or the weight of the user. You can avoid falling from a ladder by following these ladder safety rules. 
  • Avoid foot fatigue by wearing shoes that have heavy soles and are slip-resistant.
  • Increase traction by cleaning the shoes’ soles.
  • Free your hands while climbing by making use of a tool belt, an assistant to pass materials to you while you work or a towline.
  • Don’t make any sudden movements and climb as slowly as you can.
  • Don’t even attempt moving a ladder while you are using it.
  • When climbing the ladder or while doing any work, always keep your belt buckle in the centre of the ladder’s side rails. Avoid leaning or overreaching while standing on the ladder as you might fell sideways or the ladder might get pulled sideways with you still on it. 

The safest way to climb a ladder is to make use of the Three Points-of-Contact. It reduces your contact with the ladder and thus, the chance of slipping. The climber must be facing the ladder and have two feet one hand, or one foot and two hands in contact with the ladder’s side rails, rungs, and/or steps whenever he is ascending the ladder, descending from it or while working. This will ensure that the climber is never unstable even if one of his limbs slips while climbing. Maintaining a firm grip on the ladder is of vital important. So, the climber mustn’t carry anything in their hands that would stop them from gripping the ladder firmly. You can’t follow the Three Points-of-Contact adequately if you carry anything in your hands while climbing, increasing the chance of a fall if your foot or hand slips.  

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