Ladder Safety Essentials

Ladders are common in homes for providing a little more height to reach an item. Safety should always be exercised when using a ladder as it could pose some dangers if the right precautions aren’t taken.

1) Clear Safety Information on Ladder Label

Although label information is seldom read by consumers, a lot of pertinent safety usage information is on the label of a ladder, so long as it is manufactured according to the stringent requirements of the law.
Users should know about the ladder’s maximum weight capacity, top rung safety – ie how high up the ladder you should stand, the correct way to lock the ladder, and its maintenance. If any of these aren’t properly adheered to then the ladder could endanger both you and those around you.

2) Points of Possible Contention

All the different parts of a ladder can be potential points of contention where danger lurks. The rungs and latching mechanisms are potential danger points which must be checked carefully before using the ladder. Slippery steps caused by poor cleaning or storage could cause you to slip while stepping on the ladder.
You should maintain 3 points of contact with the ladder all times when using it. Both feet and one hand should be on the ladder to ensure that you are safe. Accessories like jacks or levers could endanger you if they are not designed to take your weight, so if in doubt stay clear of using these as foot holds.
Use the ladder as per its original design intent for optimal safety. For example a self-supporting ladder should not be used propped against the wall, or in a half-closed position.

3) Surrounding Safety

You should check around your surroundings to ensure complete safety using the ladder before propping it into place. There should be a wide space above without power cables or other potential hazards when using a ladder. The ground should also be level and not slippery.
The ladder may need to be secured if placed in a heavy traffic environment to prevent undesired accidents.If this is the case unsure that any ropes used are securely fastened and both the ladder and fastening points are able to take the load safely.

4) Proper Positioning

The ladder must always be set at the best position which is recommended to be at least half the ladder working length from its resting surface or wall. An extended ladder must be at least 3 feet sticking out of the point of support for stability and safety.

5) Locking Mechanisms

Proper locking mechanisms are provided on a good quality ladder to ensure safety for the user. Hence, always take time to secure the locking mechanisms properly otherwise they are as good as useless. An unlocked ladder could easily give way underneath you and result in serious injury.

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