In Australia hundreds of workers and house holders suffer injury and even fatality from a falling off a ladder. This can be from using a ladder to access another area at height or from using a ladder to perform maintenance and installation tasks.
Assess the environment before climbing any ladder. Here is a check list
- Ensure that there is a level and secure footing.
- It is essential that you secure ladders and lock the safety arms.
- Check there are no overhead obstacles
- Also check the area is free from debris around the ladder.
Lock the Ladder
Ladders should always be opened fully and the locking arms locked into place before climbing the steps. This is true for both step ladders and extension ladders.
Level and Solid Ground for the Ladder Base
Place a ladder on level working surfaces or level the area before attempting to climb the ladder. This ground should be solid ground. Use blocking material to level the ladder base. Choose flat, solid boards or timber that will provide a stable platform
Be aware of your climbing and working limits
Never climb on the top or the next to last step of the ladder. Never put yourself in a position where you have to stretch in order to reach what you are working on. Get a taller ladder to complete the task and don’t risk it.
Working with power tools
Power Tools can add to the dangers of standing on top of a ladder. If a drill bit sticks and jars you around, you may fall right off of the ladder , best if you can tie off a ladder or work with a buddy who is holding the ladder. Do not use power boards on ladders, instead use a heavy duty “Y” split extension cable (one plug supplying 2 sockets) . Where ever possible use connection clips to secure inter- connecting plugs and sockets ensuring they don’t come apart. Also use an RCD power lead when no fixed RCD protection is on offer . When working on Electrical equipment or using power tools it is best to uses a fibre glass ladder it is the best choice for safety from electrical conductivity.
Assess hidden dangers before climbing a ladder
Beware hidden dangers like bare wires and obstacles that you may bump you head on while climbing the ladder. Ladders also become unstable when your full weight is atop the ladder causing the top to shift and in turn causing your feet to push the top of the ladder in one direction. .
Work with a buddy
Have a helper hold the ladder for support if at all possible. Having someone foot the ladder and hold the ladder from sliding is always a plus in safety when someone is going up for the first time. That way the ladder is secure for you to use and wherever possible and tie the ladder off too.
Climbing and Standing On a Ladder Precautions
These tips should be followed to ensure safe operation of ladder work.
Always face the ladder when climbing or descending.
Keep both feet on the ladder, never put one foot on a rung & the other foot on a different surface.
Do not climb higher than 2nd to last rung on stepladders or 3rd to last rung on extension ladders.
Never stand on the top or the paint shelf of a stepladder.
Use Proper Ladder Angles
Don’t place an extension ladder’s angle too steep or spanned too far away from the work area. Follow the manufacturers recommended angle guides for ladder safety. Use the 1:4 ratio to ensure a stable working platform. Place the base of the ladder 1 foot away of whatever it leans against for every 4 feet of height to the point where the ladder contacts at the top.
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We at Tested & True take Electrical Safety Seriously! whether that be at home or in the Workplace. Primarily, we provide workplace electrical safety services, We are available to check your Safety Switch and RCD’s to ensure the best for Home safety also… Of course the best way is to ensure that your appliances are not hazardous in the first place. Tested & True ~ test & tag comes to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568
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Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide December 2011