How To Safely Operate A Ladder

how to safely operate a ladder

How To Safely Operate A Ladder

A ladder is an essential tool for many projects and tasks. However, improper use can lead to serious injuries and even death. To keep your home and workplace safe, follow these simple steps for safely operating a ladder. These tips will help you avoid the most common accidents involving ladders and keep you on the right track to complete your projects without incident.

How To Use A Ladder

A ladder is a great tool for completing certain tasks, but it can be a dangerous one if it’s not used safely. Many ladder-related accidents are the result of inattentiveness, lack of awareness or improper usage. A good ladder safety program can make all the difference in preventing accidents and injuries. The most important thing to remember when using a ladder is to maintain three points of contact on the ladder, which means two hands and one foot. This is especially important if the person is carrying loads that could cause a fall if they were to lose their balance. Also, keep the area around a ladder free of clutter. Lastly, consider the load limits of your ladder before carrying anything on it. It’s also a good idea to have a spotter at the bottom of the ladder. This will help prevent it from shifting and causing a fall. The ladder also has to be properly maintained, including checking for cracks that could split a step.

Check The Area Around You

Before you set up a ladder, make sure the base is not too close to hallways, passageways, doorways or heavy traffic areas. If possible, place a guard or barrier around the ladder. If this isn’t possible, then put a barricade down and have an assistant hold the ladder. To check that the ladder is at a safe angle, put your feet on the bottom of the ladder and extend your arm out straight, pointing at the nearest part of the top of the ladder. If you can do that without bending your arm, the ladder is at a safe angle and it’s time to secure it. You can do this with a stabilizer that’s OSHA-compliant, or simply by having someone on hand to steady the ladder while you’re checking.

Falling Off Ladders, More Common Than You Think

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 164,000 people are treated in the emergency room each year for falls from ladders. Most of those injuries occur from falls 10 feet or less. For example, leaning too hard to one side is a common ladder mistake that can result in accidents. Instead, keep your weight centered between the two rails of the ladder to maintain its stability. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your ladder is at a safe angle, which can be tested by placing your feet at the base and extending your arm straight out.

Read More