Stay Safe On Portable Ladders

Stay Safe On Portable Ladders

Your ladder can be a great help on the job. It is uncomplicated and simple to use. But don’t be fooled; you shouldn’t take ladder safety for granted. As with any other workplace task, care is required on ladders to maintain your safety. The following points serve as guidelines for portable ladder use.

1. Use the ladder only for its intended purpose. Don’t use step ladders as single ladders or when partially closed. Likewise, don’t climb the back sections of combination ladders, when used as step ladders.

2. Don’t use a ladder as a brace, skid, lever, guy or gin pole, gangway, platform, scaffold, plank, material hoist, or any other use for which it was not intended.

3. Don’t build makeshift ladders out of chairs, benches, or boxes. If the job calls for a ladder, take the time to find one. 4. Don’t set up a ladder on a scaffold to gain extra height.
5. Make sure there’s only one person on a ladder at a time.
6. Don’t move a ladder while anyone is on it.

7. Check the ladder’s condition before climbing. Don’t use a ladder with broken or cracked rails or rungs or with rungs made slippery by grease or oil. The ladder should have safety feet and sit on a firm, level surface.

8. Don’t use ladders on ice, snow, or other slippery surfaces. 9. Don’t place a ladder on boxes or blocks to make it taller. 10. Inspect all ladders for defects before you begin climbing. 11. Face front and use both hands as you climb.

12. Don’t overreach from a ladder. If your waist reaches past the uprights, you’ve gone too far—move the ladder.

13. Set ladders up properly by using the 4 to 1 rule. The distance from the wall to the base of the ladder should be one-fourth the distance from the base of the ladder to where it touches the wall.

14. Set up ladders so that the tops of the rails are supported equally. Avoid supporting the top of the ladder at a window or wall opening, but when you must, attach a support across the back of the ladder that is wider than the window opening.

15. Don’t set up a ladder in front of a door, unless the door is locked or kept from opening.

16. Fully open stepladders so that spreaders are locked and the feet are level and firmly supported.

17. Set up extension ladders so that the top section rests on the base section, with the rung locks engaged.

18. Hoist tools or materials up to you after you reach the top of the ladder. You need both hands for climbing.

19. Don’t stand on top of a step ladder. Also be careful not to get too close to the top of an extension or straight ladder.

20. Be careful when using ladders around electrical circuits. Keep the ladder from getting too near or hitting any energized circuit or conductor.

21. When you use a ladder to climb onto a roof:

  • Make sure it extends 3 feet above the point of support at the roof line.
  • Tie the ladder down to prevent slipping before climbing up.
  • Take care not to tip the ladder sideways and avoid having the base slide.Don’t forget! Be careful when using portable ladders!
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