Ladders are popular equipment in the home, but they can be dangerous if not used correctly. Ladder-related accidents are among the most typical preventable mishaps. Despite being simple to employ, this article will show you how to use an extension ladder safely.
Choose The Right Ladder And Inspect It
Picking the appropriate ladder is the first step toward ensuring your safety. There are different types of ladders for various purposes. Extension ladders, which can be found in most garages and sheds, are designed to reach high areas. They come in various lengths and have two parts that attach: the base section and the fly section.
The base section is placed against the wall or object you’re climbing, while the fly section is extended to the desired height. Before using an extension ladder, be sure to inspect it for damage, and never use a damaged ladder.
Set Up The Ladder Properly
Once you’ve chosen the right ladder, set it up properly by following these steps:
- Place the base of the ladder one foot away from and parallel to the wall or object you’re climbing. If there’s no solid surface to place the base against, drive stakes into the ground on either side of the ladder (or use another sturdy object) and position the ladder so that it rests against them.
- Extend only the fly section of the ladder; do not stand in or walk on any other part of the ladder but the fly section.
- Check to make sure that the base is level and stable.
- Extend the fly section until it’s about a foot away from where you’ll be climbing onto or off of it, then lock it in place with a locking pin on both sides of the ladder.
- Climb only one rung higher than your last secure foothold at any given time when ascending; do not attempt to climb up several steps at once unless they’re equipped specifically for this purpose (such as an attached foldaway platform). Use extra caution if there are no intermediate rungs between each step—this can cause instability and makes them susceptible to swaying while you ascend/descend. In addition, avoid standing close together on consecutive steps without using another footing option.
- If the ladder is not resting against a firm, stable surface (such as a building), use an adjustable ladder stabilizer to provide extra support. Position it so that it’s angled slightly away from the ladder and make sure both feet are firmly planted on the ground before climbing.
- When working with an extension ladder, always have someone else present who can offer assistance in case of emergency. Make sure they know how to operate the locking mechanism in case you need to descend quickly.
- Inspect your extension ladder before each use for any damage or irregularities; if something looks off, do not climb on it. Report any issues immediately to your supervisor or equipment rental company.
An extension ladder should only be used when other options, such as a stepladder or work platform and scaffold tower, are not feasible. If an extension ladder is the only option, use extreme caution.