Use common sense while working with ladders. Taking some extra time to ensure stability and minimize risk is the proper way to work. Don’t attempt to do anything beyond your confidence. Certain climbing techniques are not for every one.
Check out your ladders for warn shoe treads, hooks, pulleys and frayed ropes. Ladders that have been used allot, might not be as strong as they were when they were new due to material fatigue. However our company has kept some of our less often used ladders for over 25 years.
Check weight rating of ladders Maximum capacity of most extension ladders is anywhere from 200 lbs to 300 lbs
Don’t use a ladder on windy days.
Keep ladders clean from oil, grease dust... be cautious of any paint that gets spilled or sprayed onto the ladder, it will be slippery while wet.
Keep area clean Pickup any objects that could cause more injury if a fall occurs. Move protruding rocks when possible. Keep tools out of the fall range . Pull up steaks, post or other objects sticking up that would be under the work area.
Use Ladder Mitts Not only do ladder mitts protect the building from being scratched by the ladder, they provide traction between the ladder and the building that helps prevent the ladder from sliding side to side.
Shoes: Wearing work shoes with a slight heal may be safer than sneakers, as the heal is behind the rung it can prevent your foot from sliding forward while your standing on the rung.
Watch out for power lines. Be extremely careful when working near power lines the slightest contact could be deadly. Call your utility company in advance before attempting to work in an area near power lines. They will usually come out to your house and place protective covers over the lines in the area you will be working, at no charge. Never touch or allow you equipment to contact the lines. Don’t even touch the protective covers to be on the safe side. Fiberglass ladders are recommended, as they are less conductive than wood or aluminum. Be careful not to be close to the power lines when putting up, setting down or carrying the ladder. Extension polls are also dangerous near power lines. Take down the ladder immediately after finishing the work. Keep children away.
Check for solid footing Be careful for loose or unsecured ground. Clean up loose debris from pavement sidewalks & decks to ensure traction to ladder shoes. Do not use on wet surfaces that may be slippery. Decks can sometimes become slippery due to mildew on the surface, it may be necessary to brace the bottom of the ladder in such cases. Do not use an unsecured ladder on ice or snow. Beware of setting a ladder on frozen ground or anything else that may thaw and give way.
Don’t set a ladder on a drop cloth Setting a ladder up on a drop cloth or masking paper may cause the ladder to slip back. Set the ladder up first, then pull the drop cloth up to the ladder
Set your ladder at a safe pitch A ladder that leans too close to straight up is unstable, and difficult to work from. A ladder that leans too much, could kick back. A 75-degree pitch is recommended.
Set your ladder laterally plumb Shim under ladder to prevent it from leaning to either side while working on unleveled ground side, be sure shims are stable. On side slopes it may be necessary to dig a place in the ground to level and secure the ladder. Ladder levelers are another option. See Ladder Levelers
Use safety stops Placing a support object into the ground directly behind each ladder shoe can reduce any chance of a kick back. Use tent pegs, large screwdriver or a tire iron and set them so that they are touching the back of the ladder shoes, and extend several inches above so that the ladder can not slide back.
Check Ladder Hooks When using an extension ladder, always look to see that both hooks are properly caught before climbing.
Don’t stand too high Don’t stand on rungs so close to the top of the ladder that you cannot comfortably hold on to the ladder.
Don’t work over anyone Don’t allow anyone to work under the ladder that someone else is working from. The person on the ladder could drop something on the one below. Keep pets and children away.
Don’t leave leaning ladders unattended Take down the ladder when finished. Ladders can easily blow over and cause damage or injure someone. Children will often try to climb ladders when you’re not around.
Accessing a roof When accessing a shallow pitch walk able roof by placing a ladder over the eaves; extend the ladder at least 3 feet over the roof edge to hold onto for balance only while climbing onto the roof. Never step on the rung above the roofline. Do not bear any weight onto the ladder section that is above the roofline.
When accessing a steep pitch roof See Roof Hooks
When accessing a roof ladder click "Roof Ladder Safety" in the menu above
Stepladders When setting up a stepladder make sure it is fully open so that the cross bars are in the locked position. Shim under the legs of the stepladder when necessary to keep the stepladder level.