PalmButton InspectionA couple of days ago, we did a post on safe ladder height for portable ladders. This article is a little bit of a follow-up to that article.

When used at the specified height, the ladders do not need extra fall protection. After looking at the height guidelines, what are a few other considerations to make?

Has the ladder been altered in any way? If the answer is yes, the ladder may not be safe to use. Most ladders are manufactured to fit OSHA’s guidelines, and are safe to use right off the bat. However, if any adjustments have been made to the ladder, it is no longer considered safe.

If the ladder has suffered any damage, a ladder inspection can evaluate if the ladder is still safe to use. Regular wear and tear, such as scratches or small dents, should not pose a safety concern. On the other hand, large dents or damaged rungs or rails could pose a major concern. In addition, major fading on fiberglass ladders could also pose an issue if the fiberglass has started to shed, the ladder has lost its strength.

Another thing to look at when you are checking ladders is to make sure the ladder is from a reputable brand. Ladders from name brand companies will pass OSHA guidelines, but you may want to be careful with any off brand ladders. Sometimes, smaller companies will take shortcuts to save money and not build the ladder with safety in mind. In addition, just because the ladder passes OSHA guidelines does not ensure it is 100% safe. Make sure you check the ladder’s quality and climb ladders that make you feel safe.

Hopefully these tips will help you climb a little safer this week. Remember to keep safety in mind both when inspecting and when using your ladder.