It’s important to remember that ladders are tools that require using common sense. No ladder manufacturer can guarantee your safety if you don’t observe some basic precautions. A ladder rental may be on your list for tackling that next big project. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides specific guidelines for using ladders on the job, but homeowners and do-it-yourselfers need to exercise the same practices.
Here are some crucial ladder safety tips:
- Don’t use ladders if you’re feeling dizzy or exhausted. Stay off ladders in high winds, rain or storms, which can lead to falls especially in thunderstorms. Aluminum and other metals can act as lightning rods.
- Get slip-resistant footwear and be sure they are dry when it’s time to work. Flat-soled footwear like dress shoes or slippers are not safe to use when climbing up and down ladders.
Selecting A Ladder
Here are some tips for choosing a good ladder:
- Make sure it’s in good condition and works as expected. Cracks in wooden ladders or warps and bends in metal ladders could lead to accidents when they have to bear a person’s weight.
- Consider the full weight of people, tools and materials and check the Duty Rating to ensure the ladder can hold up safely.
- When using folding ladders or scaffolding, don’t use those that work improperly or have missing parts.
- Select rental ladders that are the right size for the job. If you have to be standing on the top step, get a taller ladder. Ladders that are much too big will require a lot of wasted time and effort to move around.
- Only one person at a time should be climbing the ladder, except for those made for that purpose, such as a trestle ladder. Always read the safety information on your equipment.
Using A Ladder Safely
Here are some tips for safe ladder use:
- Ensure that when the ladder is set up, the bottom is on firm, level ground and at an angle that isn’t too steep to climb or so wide that the ladder may bend or slip.
- Don’t place ladders in front of closed doors that open outward as someone in a rush could emerge from the structure and knock over the ladder.
- Observe the three-point rule: one hand and both feet should be in contact with the ladder at all times.
- Use a tool belt or straps to carry needed materials up the ladder.
- Try to remain centered; don’t lean to one side or attempt to support yourself on only one side or the other.
- Don’t try to move or shift the ladder while you’re standing on it.
You can avoid serious accidents by approaching ladder rental with every possible precaution. If you have any questions on the right ladder for your project, call One Stop Rental. We’ve been helping contractors and homeowners since 1993. Our friendly staff can help you make the right choices for getting the job done safely and effectively.