Portable Ladder Safety

dark horse staircasesToday, let’s focus on safety for portable ladders.

First, what exactly is a “portable ladder?”

A portable ladder is any ladder that is not fixed in place. Stepladders, straight ladders, combination ladders and extension ladders are all considered portable ladders.

Here are the safety tips for portable ladders from OSHA:

-Always check the labels and markings on the ladder.

-Use the right ladder for the job and avoid any electrical hazards.

-Before climbing, always inspect the ladder. If the ladder is damaged, it must be marked and taken out of service until repaired or thrown out.

R-Always maintain three points of contact while on the ladder. remember to follow the belt buckle rule.

-Make sure the ladder is not used around any slippery materials.

-Never use a step ladder or other self-supported ladder while it is partially closed.

-Never climb on the top rung or top cap.

-Always use your ladder on a stable, level surface, and never use the ladder on boxes or barrels.

-Never move the ladder while a person or equipment is on it, and  make sure any locks or hinges are properly secured before climbing.

-Finally, never exceed the weight rating of the ladder.


Ladder Safety Videos

One thing that can help you with ladder safety training is incorporating some videos into the training. YouTube has some good resources.  In fact, I found this video with a few tips.

The people who made the video actually have a website with training resources for all aspects of workplace safety. If you’re interested, the url is www.americantrainingresources.com.


downloadLooking for something to help you provide quality safety training?

LadderSafetyTraining.org is a website set up by the American Ladder Institute to provide free ladder safety training. There is training available for the care and safe use of all ladders – stepladders, single and extension ladders, articulated ladders and mobile ladders.

The safety training includes how to choose the right ladder and then how to use it for many different jobs. Some of these jobs include construction, painting, custodial services, electrical, manufacturing, chemical, home, oil and gas.

The best part about LadderSafetyTraining.org is that it’s free. You can just register on the site, choose the type of ladder you want to get trained on, watch the video and take a test. The website also keeps track of the videos watched and tests taken.

The American Ladder Institute, founded in 1947, promotes ladder safety through education and  encouragin companies to develop safe products.


Construction Industry

IMG_1625_1Falls from heights are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, but what can be done to decrease the number of accidents?


  1. Get the right equipment:  Since this blog focuses on ladders, let’s talk about choosing the right ladder. You want to make sure it is the right height for the job at hand and that it made from the right material. You also want to choose the right type of ladder. Sometimes an A-frame will do the job, othertimes an extension ladder is needed. Always choose the ladder with the correct weight rating. We recommend a Type 1A or 1AA rating.
  2. Use the Equipment Correctly: Once again, we will talk in regards to ladders. Stand between the rails.  Never stand on the top rung or top cap. Follow the three points of contact rule. These are some of the basic tips we talk about regularly, but they are still important.
  3. Take the Correct Precautions: Inspect your ladder. Choose quality equipment. Don’t take unnecessary risks.
  4. Be ok with safety: Recently, I saw a post with a ladder fail. There were quite a few comments, some of them recognizing the danger of the ladder fail, but others were a little less safety-related. Some of the commenters said things like “it doesn’t matter as long as the job gets done” or “That’s money right there, the object is to get it done by all means necessary #Real Construction #play no games.” If getting the job done quickly takes precedence over safety, then we can’t make any progress in the industry. Contractors need to find a balance between getting the job done quickly and getting it done safely.

The change has to start with contractors and subcontracotrs. If construction companies followed these four tips, the numbers would decrease.

New SumoStance

Sumo3-24-Climb1Little Giant Ladders has released a new version of the SumoStance ladder. This ladder has some new and improved features. Here are some of the benefits of the SumoStance:

The New SumoStance is the world’s only wide-stance extension ladder with height-adjustable outriggers, which double the ladder’s base width and increase side-tip stability by more than 600 percent.

  • Up to 15 percent lighter than ordinary extension ladders
  • Double the base width
  • Compact storage
  • 7.5 inches of adjustable leveling outriggers
  • Rubber pad/spike feet
  • Side-to-side level bubble & Front-to-back angle indicator

The New SumoStance’s intuitive safety features help ensure a safe, stable set-up for any job on almost any surface. It is perfect for homeowners, trade professionals, contractors, and anyone who needs to use an extension ladder safely.

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