Ladder Safety

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Ladders are very useful for accessing high and low places to conduct light tasks. However, falls from ladders cause serious injuries, so ladder safety is an important consideration.

Risk assessment

If there is any risk of a person falling more than two metres, you must undertake a risk assessment. Just some of the things to consider are:

  1. What type of task
  2. How long will it take
  3. What are the physical surroundings – ground, weather, electricity
  4. What are the conditions under which the task will be done
  5. Training level of the worker
  6. What tools are needed
  7. Length of ladder

 

Choose the correct ladder

Choose the right equipment for the job. Sitecraft has an extensive range of access equipment, including platform ladders, warehouse ladders, maintenance and work platforms, A-frame step ladders, extension ladders and mezzanine ladders.

 

Inspect before use

Always inspect your ladder carefully before using to make sure it is safe.

  1. No warping, corrosion, cracks, splits, protruding nails or screws or splinters
  2. No oil or grease on the steps or rungs
  3. The steps or rungs are attached firmly to the side rails
  4. No missing, worn or damaged steps, rungs, treads or top plates
  5. The base/safety feet and ladder itself are in good condition
  6. Opaque paint or other treatment is not disguising faults or safety information
  7. All movable parts run smoothly without any excessive play or binding

 

If a ladder is defective, take it out of service and mark it clearly as dangerous. Never try to make a temporary repair to a ladder. Return faulty or broken ladders to the manufacturer for repair or replace the ladder.

 

Using a ladder

Anyone using a ladder should do the following:

  1. Before climbing, jump on the bottom rung to test the ladder
  2. Keep clear of power lines
  3. Use electrically non-conductive ladders for electrical installations
  4. Secure the ladder at the top if possible
  5. Choose a location where the ladder will not be knocked or hit by anything
  6. Do not overreach, always work within the ladder stiles. Over-reaching can cause the ladder to tip
  7. Keep both hands free to climb up and down. Hoist tools in a bucket when at the top
  8. Do not use tools that need lots of leverage, e.g. pinch bars or Stillson wrenches. It may lead to overbalancing or falling
  9. Ensure nobody is working under the ladder
  10. Only allow one person on the ladder at a time
  11. Make sure there is a safe place to stand when dismounting from the ladder
  12. Face the ladder when climbing up or down and while working from it
  13. Stand on a rung or step at least 900mm from the top of an extension or single ladder
  14. Never stand on top of a ladder, stay below the second run from the top plate

 

Storage

To protect your ladder:

  1. Store under cover, out of direct sunlight and protected from rain
  2. Keep them in horizontal position and use supports to prevent any sagging

 

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