The Dos and Don’ts to Remember about Step Ladder Safety
Although it seems like it would be common sense to utilize step ladder safety, many people either ignore safety measures or aren’t aware of them. Ladder falls happen every day, but they don’t have to. Taking the proper precautions when dealing with your ladder could help you avoid permanent injury or death. There are a few things to consider not doing or doing before using your ladder to help keep you safe and happy.
Step Ladder Safety Before Use
One of the most important things you could do in terms of step ladder safety is to prepare for using the ladder. Many falls and injuries occur because people want to go ahead and use their ladder without taking the time to prevent danger. Before jumping right to using your ladder, first consider:
Weather: If you need to use your step ladder outside, make sure the weather will allow it. Steer clear of using your ladder in wet or windy weather so that it is less likely that an accident will occur.
Health: If you are not feeling like yourself due to sickness, utilize your ladder a different time. Your health is what matters over completing a project, so don’t use a ladder if you aren’t feeling up to it.
Attire: For preventing slips and becoming unbalanced, purchase and wear slip-resistant soled shoes. These will ensure that you won’t fall due to a misstep or slippery ladder rung.
Weight: All ladders have a max capacity. Remember that this isn’t just considering your weight, but the weight of all your tools, equipment, and yourself as you are on the ladder. Make sure that you are within the weight limit so that your ladder doesn’t buckle under the pressure and cause injury or worse.
Inspection: Do not ever use any type of ladder without first inspecting it. A number of ladder falls and deaths occur yearly because people don’t look to see if the ladder is worn, damaged, or in working condition before they use it. Make sure that your ladder is reliable enough for each and every use.
Size: Choose a ladder that fits the project that you are about to work on. If your ladder is too short to reach an area that you need to work on, never place it on another surface or structure other than the ground. If your ladder is not high enough, do not perform the task until you have a ladder that fits the size of the project at hand.
Stability: For optimal step ladder safety, make sure that all legs are balanced on a flat and secure ground surface. More often than not ladder falls are caused by an imbalance that causes the ladder to tip while a person utilizes it.
Doors: Make sure that before you use your ladder, you do not place it in an area that can be affected by an opening door. If you must place the ladder in front of a door, make sure the door is locked, inaccessible to others, guarded by someone, or blocked from use.
Step Ladder Safety During Use
Although it is important to consider what you do before you use your ladder, it is undoubtedly also extremely important that you adhere to step ladder safety while you are using the ladder. There are a few things that you should consider while using your ladder to adhere to step ladder safety like:
3 Point Contact: It is suggested that the user of a ladder have three points of contact with the ladder at all time. That means that 3 of 4 limbs should be touching the ladder throughout its use.
This assures that the user of the ladder is facing the right direction and has enough stability to keep balance.
Tools and Equipment: To keep hands free for the 3 point contact rule, the person utilizing the ladder should either have someone on the ground handing them tools and equipment or they should use a tool belt or conveyor system to access equipment.
Stability: If you need to move your ladder to get to another area, never attempt to move it while you are still standing on it. Descend the ladder before you ever attempt to move it.