A ladder is an essential tool that helps to simplify our daily activities. Sometimes this ladder can lead to severe injuries due to wrong selection and improper use. So it is crucial to choose the right ladder to work safely. Also, work safety depends on the proper use of a ladder. If we talk about taking the right ladder, most people fail to select the right one.
Basically, to choose the right ladder, you need to consider a few factors such as the ladder’s materials, height, weight, load capacity, and price. Once you have the right ladder, you also have to learn how to use a ladder safely to reduce the chance of any injuries. Keep reading this context to learn more about how you can choose and use the right ladder.
What Types of Ladders Are Available?
Ladders come in five main types, and there are several styles between these types. Below, we demonstrated these ladder types that will help you choose the perfect one.
Single Section Ladder
This ladder type is suitable for mounting on simple, flat ground where the ladder’s head is placed directly against an object. The main advantage of having this ladder is that it is lightweight with a certain length.
An extension ladder is designed with a series of single-section ladders. This ladder is particularly designed to do heavy tasks such as stairwell painting. With the outstanding stairwell painting ladders, anyone can easily paint the high stairwell on their house.
A stepladder is a ladder of a fixed length that contains supporting legs. The legs allow the use of free-standing ladders and are compact for carrying. This kind of ladder is made of fiberglass, aluminum, and wood.
This type of ladder is comparable to the extension ladder. The size of this ladder is smaller than the extension ladder so that it can be stored in a small place. Typically, the telescopic ladder is built with aluminum metal.
A multi-function ladder is designed like an extension ladder, but it has several lockable hinge joints, which can be used in many ways. This type of ladder functions like scaffolding.
How to Choose the Right Ladder for Safe Work
As we have said earlier, you have to consider a few factors before choosing a ladder. Below, we have explained how these factors are crucial when selecting a ladder for safe work.
All the ladders are not made with the same material. Most ladders are made of wood, and you will find metal ladders also. Metal ladders provide superior strength and durability compared to wood. Whether the ladder is made of fiberglass or aluminum, or stainless steel, a metal ladder will ensure the highest safety in your work.
Height is the second most crucial factor when choosing a ladder. This is because if you choose a shorter ladder, you may have to struggle to reach a more extended area or object. The ladder must be a height that is as long as the object or place you are trying to contact. For this, it is better to measure the distance from the surface to where you want to reach before choosing a ladder.
The load capacity cannot be forgotten when you choose a ladder. If the load capacity of your ladder is less than you, you may fall into serious injuries. Most low-end ladders offer a load capacity of 150 to 200 pounds (ca. 91 kg). On the other hand, a commercial-grade ladder can support over 300 pounds (ca. 136 kg).
Weight means how much the ladder weighs. If you choose a heavy ladder, you have to struggle to move and carry it. As there is no need for a ladder in a single place, it would be better for you to choose a lightweight ladder. A lightweight ladder can be easily moved to different places.
Like all other tools, you will seemingly want to consider the price when selecting a ladder. Basically, the price of a ladder varies according to its type and brand. Most of the ladders were priced on average 50 dollars. As inexpensive ladders are made of cheap materials, choosing a ladder whose price is average is better.
How to Use a Ladder Safely
Once you have chosen the right ladder, now is the time to learn how to use it. It is crucial to use the ladder properly because improper ladders can lead to severe injuries. Below, we have demonstrated how you can safely use a ladder.
Inspect Your Ladder
Before using a ladder, always examine it to ensure the ladder is working in order. Below, we have pointed out some factors that you should look at when you examine a ladder.
- Check if the ladder has any cracks, rust, and other visible damage that significantly affects its integrity.
- Examine all loose or missing parts of your ladder, such as rungs, hinges, or locks.
- To avoid leaning one side more than the other of your ladder, check the swaying.
Place Your Ladder Safely
When you find the ladder is in proper working condition, you have to set it up where you need the ladder. It is essential to select a stable, level surface and assume the right size for the task you intend to use the ladder. Follow the below factors when placing a ladder.
- Don’t place the ladder on the slippery or wet surface, both at the head and foot of the ladder.
- Avoid placing a ladder on any types of unstable bases, like boxes, to get the additional height.
- Do not set the ladder on top of any closed doors that may be open.
- Avoid using a step ladder, or any other ladders, without taking any help.
- Keep away the ladder from electrical hazards, including overhead power lines, especially when you have a metal ladder.
- Try not to use a ladder during high storms or winds.
Be a Safe Climber
Once you have placed the ladder in a safe and secure environment, it is essential to climb on it safely. When climbing the ladder, follow the below instruction:
- Avoid climbing if you feel dizzy, tired, or tend to lose your balance.
- Wear safety dresses like dry, slip-resistant footwear, and don’t wear any type of leather soles.
- Before climbing the ladder, make sure all the locks are correctly fitted, especially when using an extension ladder.
- Do not climb the ladder with more equipment and supplies than the total capacity of the ladder.
- Always maintain 3 point contact with the ladder- two legs and one arm, or two arms and one leg, and always face the ladder.
- Place your buttocks in the vertical limit/side rails of the ladder and do not move to one side or the other in this position.
- Keep one hand free and use a tool belt or towlines so that you can easily carry tools, supplies, and other objects.
There are many causes why people are injured while using ladders. Some significant reasons are sliding off a ladder or tipping sideways. To get rid of these problems, you should know how to use the ladder properly. For your help, in this article, we have presented a complete guideline on how you can safely use a ladder.
Besides, the safety of using a ladder is related to choosing the right one. This is because if your ladder doesn’t support your load, you may fall, causing severe injury. That’s why, before purchasing a ladder, you should keep in mind the factors presented in this article. This will help you to choose the best ladder that can meet your needs.