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LADDER SAFETY / Safe Use & Care

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General Principles

  • Ladders must be handled with care at all times.
  • Observe the manufacturers warnings and instructions.
  • Observe closely the area in which you wish to position the ladder and assess for risks (e.g. open door ways, overhead power lines, uneven ground).
  • Where a risk is present, remove (or reduced to an acceptable level) the risk, or seek an alternative safe means of access.
  • Ladders are designed and built for a specific use. Read the warning labels and never use the ladder that is not recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Choose the right type of ladder and the correct height for the task at hand.
  • Always inspect the ladder for damage prior to use.
  • Ensure the ladder is free from dirt, water and grease prior to use paying particular attention to the treads/rungs.
  • When using a ladder near a door way, block/lock the door and/or post a guard.
  • Do not leave ladders unattended while they are erected.
  • Always wear fully enclosed footwear with slip resistance soles.
  • Avoid using ladders in very wet or windy conditions.
  • Never use a ladder if you are impaired by drugs, alcohol or sickness.

Safe handling procedures

  • Never drop or jar a ladder as it may damage the ladder and make it unsafe to use.
  • Always employ safe lifting practices when moving or handling ladders (e.g. bend the knees).
  • Always be aware of others and property when carrying ladders. Particular care should be taken when carrying a ladder through or door way or around corners.
  • Always ensure that you have full control of the ladder at all times.
  • Be aware of the position of your hands when using ladders to avoid entrapment.

Transporting Ladders

When transporting a ladder on a vehicle ensure that the following points are observed:

  • The ladder is supported along its length to prevent sagging.
  • The overhang beyond supports is equal and less then 1/3 of the length of the ladder.
  • The ladder is securely tied down to prevent road shock and chaffing. Do not over tighten as this may damage the ladder. 
  • The upper surface of the roof racks or supports should be covered with soft material, such as rubber or pine, to decrease road shock.
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