Inspecting ladders is one of the key ways to reduce on-site injuries. Here is a checklist we put together for ladders. You can download a PDF of the full checklist here:
-Open cracks, open gouges, fractures
-Chips, scratches or scuffs
-Weathering, blooming, degradation
-Foreign materials: Paraffin, grease, mud
Connections & Fasteners
-Rust on pins, hooks, locks, etc.
-Loose connections on rivets, pins, bolts
-Deformed, cracked, or gouged fasteners
-Worn tread on rung
-Loose rung-to-rail connections
-Bends, deformities, cracks in aluminum
-Deep scores or damage on rungs
Locks & Pulleys
-Locks do not engage properly
-Binding or excessive play
-Sharp burrs, edges, nicks
-Keeper doesn’t rotate properly
-Cracks or damage to extrusions
-Worn or dirt-filled treads
-Less than 1/16″ tread remaining
-Cuts, fraying, wear
-Burns, mildew, rot
-Spreaders – missing or loose connections
-Cracks in side rails at connection point
-Worn or missing foot pads
-Loose connection or wear on top cap
If your ladder fails any part of your inspection, you need to take it out of service until it is repaired. If the ladder is unable to be fixed, you need to make it completely unusable and dispose of it. Why is this part so important? There have actually been reports of people taking unsafe ladders from dumpsters, using them, getting injured, and then suing the company who disposed of them. The companies lost and had to pay thousands.
So, how do you destroy a ladder?
You can remove all the rungs. You can crush the ladder. Basically, anything makes the ladder completely unable to be climbed. Here’s a video of how a Utah company chose to get rid of its ladders.