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Ladder Safety!

18 Mar 2014

Choose the Right Ladder


There are three basic portable ladder types:


Type I – Industrial: heavy-duty with a load capacity not more than 250 pounds.


Type II – Commercial: medium-duty with a load capacity not more than 225 pounds. (Suited for painting and similar tasks.)


Type III – Household: light-duty with a load capacity of 200 pounds.


There are many types of ladders available on the market. If it is intended to be portable and used by a single person, it should fit into one of the three basic categories.


The most common type of ladder in the home is a stepladder.


Ladders commonly come in three materials: aluminum, wood, or fiberglass.


Aluminum is the most durable, but will conduct electricity, making it dangerous for use around electricity. Wood may rot. Fiberglass is the best combination of durability and non-conductivity, but is also the most expensive.


Using a Ladder


  • Make sure the ladder is suited for the type of job you plan to do (see the types above).


  • Before using a ladder, especially a ladder that has been stored in the garage for a while, inspect it for cracks or broken joints.


  • Place your ladder on a stable, even, flat surface.


  • Never place a ladder on top of another object.


  • Use the 1:4 ratio to ensure a stable working platform. Place the base of the ladder 1 foot away of whatever it leans against for every 4 feet of height to the point where the ladder contacts at the top


  • When using an A-frame stepladder, make sure the brace is locked in place.


  • If climbing onto another surface, make sure the ladder extends at least three feet past the platform you're climbing onto.


  • Secure tall ladders by lashing or fastening the ladder to prevent movement.


  • Always face the ladder when climbing or descending.


  • Keep both feet on the ladder - never put one foot on a rung and the other foot on a different surface.


  • Do not climb higher than the second rung on stepladders or the third rung on straight or extension ladders.


  • Never stand on the top of the paint shelf of a stepladder.


  • Keep your belt buckle (if you have one) positioned between the rungs so it doesn't catch.


  • Never leave ladders unattended - kids love them.


  • When working with electricity, use a ladder made of wood or fiberglass.

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