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Ladder Safety!

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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