Ladders are extremely useful for both domestic and commercial use, but they can also be dangerous if they are not used with due care and attention. It is important to follow safety precautions as a fall from even a minor height can cause serious injury.
Below we have listed some tips that should follow if you are to use any kind of ladder safely, and we will cover both step ladders and extension ladders.
Step Ladder Safety
Step ladders are especially useful in and around the home for reaching those just too high shelves or jobs you need to do, so here are some basic safety tips:
- Always make sure the platform is ‘locked’ into the correct position before you use the ladder
- Ensure the folding metal braces that join the frame together are also locked into place and level
- Set your ladder up on even ground, as it can easily overbalance otherwise
- Try not to use the very top step or platform if possible; it may not look very high, but a fall from even there can result in serious injury
- Don’t try and lean out too far sideways when on the ladder as this will almost certainly over-balance the frame and cause it to fall
- Never allow more than one person on a ladder at a time
- Do not lean a closed ladder against the wall and then climb it as it may slip
- Be careful when moving the ladder that there is nothing left resting on it
- Do not let children play on step ladders, they are not safe for them.
Traditional and Extension Ladders
Used to reach higher places, extension ladders need to be treated with a great deal of due care and attention as a fall from one can result in very serious injury.
Many of the above safety tips – including trying to stay as low as possible and keeping them away from children – also apply to these ladders, and you can also find more information at Adjusters Ladder which carries some informative reviews.
- Try and have more than one person present to raise the ladder – which should be done with care – and to help steady it when in use
- Use a 1:4 ratio for angling your ladder. That is, if you have your ladder raised to 12ft, the feet should be 3ft from the wall
- Make sure both feet are always firmly on the ground
- Never use the ladder on a wet or icy surface
- Wear a belt for tools, and as above, never lean out as this will tip you over
These are just the basic rules to remember when you are using a step ladder or extension ladder, and they really are common sense.
The best approach is to never try and cut corners, always put time and effort into safety, and take care when you are even the slightest way up a ladder.