Using a ladder may seem simple but there are a few obvious and hidden dangers involved when you step up on that first rung.
It’s 'not too hard' to keep yourself and others safe. Here are our three steps to ladder safety.
Step 1: Safety check
- Check that all rivets, joints, nuts and bolts are tight and that steps, spreaders and braces are secure.
- Then make sure the ladder is functioning properly.
Step 2: Positioning
- All legs must be evenly placed on the ground.
- Do not use ladders on boxes, slippery surfaces or unstable bases to gain additional height.
- When outdoors, be aware of power lines when putting a ladder up or down.
Step 3: Working
- Check that the total weight including tools and materials are under the load rating.
- This differs from ladder to ladder, so always check the load limit label.
- Face the ladder when climbing up or down, ensuring to keep body centred between side rails.
- Never use the top two steps. Always keep three points of contact with the ladder. This means both hands and at least one foot or one hand and two feet at any given time when climbing and working on a ladder.
- Do not overreach and never try to reposition ladder while still on it.
- Climb down and reposition the ladder from the ground.
- ALWAYS read ALL safety instructions and labels on the ladder prior to using.