Doing a thorough inspection helps prevent ladder accidents.
Here’s what you should do when inspecting your ladder:
Check the rails. Look for any open cracks or gouges and evaluate the overall condition of the rails. Are there chips, fractures or any major scuffs? If the ladder is fiberglass and the fiberglass has started “blooming,” take the ladder out of service since the fiberglass has lost its integrity. If your ladder has any grease or mud on it, take a few minutes to wipe down the ladder before you climb.
Check any connectors and fasteners. Is there rust on the pins, hooks, or other part of the ladder? If any part of the ladder is loose, fix them before you climb. If any of the fasteners are cracked, gouged or deformed, take the ladder out of service and don’t climb it.
Inspect the rungs to make sure they are in good shape. Check for any damage to the rungs. Also check the overall condition of the rung. If it doesn’t seem to be in good shape, choose another ladder.
You also want to make sure any locks or pulleys work correctly. Make sure the locks engage and that there isn’t excessive play. Lubricate the pulleys, if needed. If the rope is damaged, take the ladder out of service until the rope gets replaced.
Inspect the condition of the ladder feet. If the feet tread are worn or dirt filled, get new feet. You can also clean them out, if you’d prefer.
Always inspect your ladder so you can climb.