Ladders Safety Guidelines
Ladders are very commonly used in the workplace and this makes them be taken for granted by almost all users.
It is quite unfortunate that majority of workplace incidences and accidents related to ladders occur mainly because users do not observe standard disciplines for handling hazards and consequently do not follow the required workplace safety precautions.
What is most encouraging is that use of ladders can be made much safer if a few basic workplace safety principles are observed.
The most important thing is to ensure we are using ladders for the only purpose that they are intended- for carrying out routine duties or as a means of access.
Ladders should not be used horizontally as a work platform; this is because they are not designed for it. Specialized equipment’s like scaffolding or elevated platforms are the most appropriate if the task requires extended activity.
Before using any ladder, it is advisable to perform a pre-check to ensure it is safe to use. Conducting a pre-check or inspection provides a great opportunity to identify any defects that need to be rectified to avoid causing an accident.
Whenever you are using a ladder, it is important to consider these guidelines in order to ensure our workplaces are safe and more productive.
A thorough inspection should be carried out to pick up any defects and rectify them or change the ladder altogether; the bottom line is to make sure the ladder is in good working condition.
Any external hazards should be put in mind and avoided at all costs. These include uneven surfaces, weather conditions and electric equipment among others.
Always use the right ladder for the right job, do not overload the ladder and avoid using other objects like chairs or desks when reaching up for something.
It is imperative for the user to consider these questions. What is the length of the duration that I will be working on the ladder? Will I be holding a light or heavy items while on the ladder?
Consequently, one should know that the high the ladder the lower the stability. Such cases would require the use of specialized ladders like the stepladder, or the platform step queen ladder (one with handrail barricades).
It is also advisable to follow manufacturer’s user instructions if available.