I recently ran across this great article with tips for being safe on ladders. The article is from a few years ago, but the tips are still good! In fact, a lot of the tips are things we talk about regularly on this site.
Here are some of the tips from the article:
Use the right ladder for the job
We’ve talked about this point a lot on the blog. You don’t want anyone on your team using a stepladder when an extension ladder would be safer. You also don’t want someone using a regular stepladder when a ladder with telescoping sides would work better.
Use your ladder on firm and level ground
OSHA has plenty of tips for what to do if the ground is unlevel. You can either dig out one side so the legs are even, or you can prop one side up with cement blocks, dirt, etc. You can also always use a ladder that allows you to adjust the legs to make the ladder level. You want to make sure the ladder is never being used on wet, slippery or unstable ground.
Make sure you never put more weight on the ladder than what it can handle
Each ladder has its own weight limit. Make sure each worker knows the weight limit of each ladder. Also make sure he or she knows to add the weight of tools to the worker’s weight in order to make sure the total weight doesn’t surpass the weight limit.
Always set up your ladder at the correct angle
OSHA says extension ladders must be set up at 75.5 degrees. So, how do you know if the ladder is at the correct angle? There are a couple of options. NIOSH has a great app you can download. You then set up your phone on the ladder to check the angle. The app tells you if the angle is too sharp or not sharp enough. Another option is to get a ladder with levels telling you if you are at 75.5 degrees. The SumoStance from Little Giant has bubble levels to let you know if you need to change the ladder’s angle.
Put the ladder away when you are not using it
This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Ladders that are left out are asking for problems. To prevent accidents, make sure your ladder is securely put away when you are done.
The article also gives tips for actually climbing the ladder. The article says, “Center your body between the rails of the ladder at all times. Leaning too far to one side while working is a no-no and can cause you to fall. If you were to have a belt on, the buckle should never be outside of the right or left rail of the ladder.”
This article had some great reminders for anyone who is climbing a ladder!