Most workers injured in falls from ladders, are less than 10 feet above the ladder’s base. Portable ladders generally fall into the following basic categories:
Single Ladder: A non-self supporting portable ladder that is non adjustable in length.
Extension Ladder: A non-self supporting ladder that is adjustable in length.
Step Ladder: A self-supporting ladder, nonadjustable in length, having flat steps and hinged back. Step Ladder types are:
Type I – Industrial (3’ to 20’) 300# Rating,
Type II – Commercial (3’ to 12’) 225# or 250# Rating, and
Type III – household (3’ to 6’) 200# Rating.
The following tips will help improve ladder safety and help workers avoid falls and other ladder mishaps.
Wooden ladders should be smooth on all sides, free from sharp edges and splinters, visually sound, free of cracks, decay or other irregularities. No wooden stepladder should be over 20 feet long.
Metal ladders should be free of structural defects, sharp edges, burrs, etc. The metal should be protected against corrosion. Take necessary safety measures when using metal ladders in areas containing electrical circuits to prevent short circuits or electrical shock.
Fiberglass safety ladders are non-conductive with re-enforced fiberglass side rails and non-marring end caps that act as insulators. The ladders are relatively lightweight. The ladder resists weathering and corrosion.
Inspection, Maintenance and Set-up:
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