Falls from ladders and other objects are one of the leading causes of nonfatal injuries for all age groups. Here, at Little Giant Ladders we care about your safety, especially when operating a ladder system. Ladder inspection is one of the first steps to climbing safely and avoiding falls and injuries. Let’s look at some of our steps to a good ladder inspection that’ll help you properly use your ladder.
Ladder Inspection Checklist
- Check the rails of the ladder
The first thing you should do when inspecting your ladder is make sure there are no open cracks or gouges. Evaluate the overall condition of the rails. Determine if there are any chips, fractures or any major scuffs?
If the ladder is fiberglass, check the fiberglass to make sure it is not overly worn or weathered. If the fiberglass has started “blooming,” you want to take the ladder out of service since the fiberglass has lost its integrity.
Also, check the rails for any foreign substances like paraffin, grease or mud. If there is a “foreign substance,” take a few minutes to wipe down the ladder before you climb.
- Check any connectors and fasteners on your ladder.
After checking the ladder’s rails, check if there is any rust on the pins, hooks, or other parts of the ladder. If any of the connections to the rivets, pins or bolts are loose, get them fixed before you climb. If any of the fasteners are cracked, gouges or deformed, take the ladder out of service and don’t use it again.
- Inspect the ladder rungs to make sure they are in good shape.
Next, determine if the rung’s treads are overly worn. Are the rung-to-rail connections loose? Check for any bends, deformities or cracks in the rungs. Then check the overall condition of the rung. If it doesn’t seem to be in good shape, choose another ladder.
- Make sure any locks or pulleys on the ladder are working correctly.
Once you’ve followed the other three steps, check to make sure the locks engage and that there isn’t excessive play. Lubricate the pulleys when necessary. Then inspect the rope. Is it rotten, cut, fraying, or mildewed? If so, take the ladder out of service until the rope gets replaced.
- Check the condition of the ladder feet
Determine the condition of the feet. Are the treads worn or dirt filled? If so, either get new feet or clean them out.
For more details on a good inspection, check out our ladder safety page.