Ladder Safety | It’s all about reducing the risks
Anyone who has the need to use ladders in the course of their work or for a DIY project should always be aware of the risks. Many of the risks can be identified by starting with an understanding of basic ladder safety and working safely at heights principles.
For your safety it is crucial to take a few precautionary measures which will minimise your risk, to ensure that the time you spend on a ladder is safe and secure as possible. Following are some tips that are intended to keep you safe and prevent accidents that could be devastating.
- Always read the safety information that came with the ladder.
Even professional contractors are not considered to be competent to climb a particular ladder unless this information has been read and completely understood.
- Before standing a ladder, ‘look up & live’ (Energex) Click here to watch their 30 second video.
- Ladders must always be set up on level ground.
- Never climb a ladder if you feel weak or dizzy.
- Never use a ladder in high winds.
- There should only be one person at a time on a ladder.
- Choose your shoes carefully, ensuring that they are slip resistant. This means no thongs or open back shoes.
- Where possible keep ladders away from doors that could open towards the equipment otherwise keep that door locked, closed or blocked open to ensure safety.
This is especially important when using single stage ladders that are simply balanced against a building’s wall.
- Always choose the right size ladder for the task at hand.
Keep in mind that many ladders such as step ladders are not suitable for standing on the top couple of steps. Also extension ladders must not only reach the height that you need, but extend past the resting point especially if you are using it to gain access to a roof for example.
- Consider using a mechanical lift such as a power lift for gaining access to hard to reach spots such as skylights in the middle of a room and even for access to high lights above a staircase landing.
- If your project includes working on a roof, you should consider using a roofer’s safety kit. When used correctly this body harness with an anchored locking rope device will ensure that if you slip or fall you will stay put and not fall or slide off the roof.
Whether you are a professional contractor who is familiar with working at heights or simply a DIYer who is hiring a ladder for a one-off job, it is vital to be familiar with ladder safety and working safely at heights. This information could help to keep you from being injured (or worse!) on the job. Keep it in mind the next time you are required to use a ladder for the task at hand.
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