4 Ways to Use a Ladder Safely

Ladders are an important piece of equipment for many jobs. However, they can be dangerous when used improperly.

Falls from ladders account for 164,000 emergency room visits and more than 300 deaths each year in the United States.

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1. Use the Right Ladder for the Job

The right rolling ladders can make all the difference when it comes to getting a job done safely. Whether it’s for painting projects, changing light bulbs, or scaling rooftops, using the wrong ladder can lead to accidents that can be very serious.

A lot of ladder injuries happen because the user isn’t sure what type of ladder to use or doesn’t know how to use it properly. To help prevent this, here are 4 ways to use a ladder safely:

1. Choose the Right Ladder for Your Job

The first step to using a ladder safely is to choose one that’s the right size and style for your job. Some ladders are great for climbing up roofs, while others are better for changing light bulbs or trimming trees.

Choosing the right ladder also involves looking at its duty rating, which is a classification that lists how much weight it can support in each step without putting you or those around you in danger. The higher the duty rating, the stronger the ladder will be.

2. Check Your Ladder’s Angle

One of the most important ways to use a ladder safely is to make sure that it’s at the right angle. An incorrect angle could mean that the ladder will tip over backwards or slide out of the base.

To check the ladder’s angle, stand close to the base of the ladder and place your feet against its front rungs. If you can do this without any difficulty, then it’s at the correct angle.

Another way to check the ladder’s angle is to use a tool such as a calculator. A ladder angle calculator is a simple tool that lets you input the height and length of your ladder’s legs and will calculate the ideal angle for your setup.

A common cause of ladder-related injuries is when an extension or straight ladder is set at a shallower angle than the recommended 75 degrees (the ‘4 to 1’ rule). Following this rule, as well as other vital control measures and safety practices, can help to prevent these accidents from happening.

3. Secure Your Ladder

If you’re using a ladder, it’s important to secure it correctly. Not doing so can result in injury to you and the people around you.

Whether it’s in your home or at work, if you’re working on a job that requires a ladder, it’s critical to know how to use one safely.

Keep in mind that ladders are designed to be used for a specific purpose and should only be used as such.

Never try to climb on the top step or rung, as it is very easy to lose your balance and fall down the ladder.

A good rule of thumb is to always maintain three points of contact with your ladder. This can be achieved by ensuring you have two hands and one foot or both feet and a hand on the ladder at all times.

4. Don’t Rush

Ladders are an essential part of life for many people. They are used at home, at work and in recreational areas – but they can be dangerous when not used properly.

According to the World Health Organization, the United States leads the world in ladder deaths. Each year, more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths occur from falls caused by ladders.

This is why it is important to not rush when using a ladder. If you are too rushed, you may not be able to maintain composure or you could mis-step while climbing and descending the ladder.

To avoid this, keep three points of contact while working on the ladder; your hands and feet, or both your hands and your feet. Never lean off the side of the ladder and always face it when you climb or descend.

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