Whether you are constructing a home or doing minor repair and maintenance work around the house you will more than likely need the assistance of a ladder. Ladders allow us to achieve tasks in high places and as with any tool you should be aware of the proper way to use it. Knowing proper ladder safety is essential in safeguarding yourself against accidents. Here are 3 safety tips to keep in mind when using a ladder:
1) Firstly, you would need to choose the right ladder for the job. Ladders are rated for different load capacities. Hence, the combined weight of the climber and any tools or materials being carried should be taken into consideration. The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight on the ladder. In addition, the ladder must be long enough that the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step when performing a task.
2) When climbing up or down a ladder maintain three points of contact at all times. Either have two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand firmly planted. Any tools and materials that are being carried while you climb should be in a tool belt or pulled by rope once you are done climbing. Also, ensure that you wear non-slip shoes when working on ladders and that you use the ladder only for its intended use. Refrain from using it as a bridge or scaffolding.
3) Always make sure the ladder is leveled at its base on a firm surface to prevent it from falling while you are climbing. Grounds that are rocky or uneven can destabilize a ladder causing it to tip over. If you sense that the ladder is shaking it is best to change its location. Also ensure that the ladder is leaning against a solid surface to provide support while it is being used. Refrain from using the ladder when slippery conditions are present either at the base or top support points.
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