Step Ladders are a common tool you will find in many industrial occupations, including construction carpenters, electricians, landscapers, brick and cement masons, drywall installers, and much more. Step Ladders are also often used within the home.
When using a step ladder be sure to remember these important safety tips. Start with level ground or use a leveling tool to adjust the ladder. Ladders are susceptible to tipping when not supported evenly at the base. Make sure your ladder is opened and locked in the right position. Never leave a ladder in a partially opened position. Once your ladder is set up correctly, be cautious when ascending and descending. Do not attempt to reposition your ladder while climbing or resting on the steps. Stay towards the middle of the steps and do not overreach, as doing so can create instability. While it may seem easier to carry objects yourself while ascending, always face your ladder when in use and keep a firm hold with your hands. Lastly, never stand on the top step of your ladder, it is unstable and not suitable for climbing.
Your ladder should be equipped with built-in safety tools. You should see anti-slip safety feet on the bottom to prevent sliding. Your spreaders should stay strong and locked when in use. Your steps should stay secure and hold in place to support your weight. If one of these aspects is not working as intended, do not climb your ladder. Always do an inspection before you climb to make sure your ladder is in good enough shape to use.
Keeping these tips in mind, no matter the job, will keep you safe while operating your ladder. For more information and articles on stepladder safety visit AmericanLadderInstitute.org.
With all the projects you need to accomplish, ladder safety may be the least of your concerns. We know it may not be at the top of your priorities, but with 724,000 ladder-related injuries every year, it really is better to be safe than sorry. Luckily, even if safety isn’t your first concern, it is always ours. Safety is our priority which is why we have compiled the most important steps for you.
- Never set up your ladder on uneven ground. Being even a few inches off at the bottom can put you several feet off at the top. Either find even ground or use a leveler tool such as the Little Giant Leveler.
- Always maintain three points of contact while climbing to help you create stability.
- Always wear proper equipment for your workplace. Eighty-four percent of people who suffered injuries from impact to the head were not wearing a hard hat.
- When using an extension ladder, be far enough away from the wall to be stable. The key is to move your ladder one foot at the base for every four feet you climb up.
Using these safety tips while getting your stuff done is the best way to stay safe and accomplish your big goals.
Pest Control Technology, a publication designed for pest control companies, put together a ladder safety survey asking companies about the number of ladder-related accidents they’ve had in recent years. Here’s a screenshot of the survey results.
Based on these results, it looks like some progress has been made in the ladder safety world, but there is still work to be done.
When you have work to do, an adjustable ladder can be a great option. For which jobs can you use your adjustable/articulating ladder? Here’s just a start:
Any job that’s on stairs. Each side of the ladder telescopes independently, so if you have a job on stairs, you can have one side of the ladder be shorter than the other side, so you can use your ladder safely if it is adjustable. This idea also applies to sloping ground. If you have to work on a small hill or stadium-style seating, your ladder can safely adjust your ladder to get your work done. Hanging pictures, painting, hanging light fixtures and adjusting smoke detectors are all examples of jobs for your ladder in the staircase position.
Getting on Your Roof. If you need to get on your roof, putting your ladder in the extension position can make that happen. Always use a tall enough ladder and extend it three feet past the roofline. Do you have a roof to inspect? Gutters to clean? Regardless of the task at hand, when used in the extension position, your ladder can help you get any roof-related job complete. The extension position can also help you complete tasks like washing windows.
Almost any Other Job. You can also use your ladder in the stepladder position, and this position allows you to complete almost any job we haven’t covered already. Framing, cleaning, inspecting your home and landscaping are all examples of jobs for your ladder in the stepladder position.
These are just a few examples of jobs for your adjustable ladder, but the options are truly endless!