How to Stay Safe on a Step Ladder
A step ladder is a versatile piece of equipment that you can use indoors and outdoors, for anything from cleaning to redecorating. It’s a must-have for any homeowner.
Step ladders are extremely popular due to their self-supporting structure, but do you know how to stay safe on a step ladder? Here are some tips to follow so you can stay safe while you work.
Inspect Your Step Ladder Before Use
This is probably the most important rule to remember when learning how to stay safe on a step ladder. Whilst you may want to jump right into your task before the spark of motivation fades away, a quick pre-use inspection is absolutely essential.
Inspecting a step ladder sounds boring, but it may just be what prevents a nasty fall. To inspect your step ladder, just use your eyes to check it for any visible signs of damage and excessive wear – especially if it’s been a while since you last used it!
Remember to check the integrity of the ladder’s side rails, feet, rungs, and hinged locking mechanisms to ensure that everything is in working order.
Ultimately, if you don’t feel confident in your step ladder’s ability to keep you safe – do NOT use it. It’s not worth the risk!
Stay Within The Step Ladder’s Weight Limit
Your step ladder has a weight limit for a reason: overloading it may cause it to fail while in use. While the average step ladder can comfortably take a person’s weight (even if that person is on the heavier side) you should also factor in the weight of any power tools or other equipment you’re using while on the ladder. Carrying heavy objects up the steps could take you over the limit, with potentially disastrous results.
You should be able to find your ladder’s maximum weight limit on the product’s manufacturer manual, or on the website where you bought your ladder.
On a related note, you should also take care to keep the weight in the centre of the ladder – putting too much weight on one side or the other may tip the ladder over.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
It’s easy to get overly absorbed when using your step ladder for a spot of home DIY. Regardless, you should always be aware of your surroundings when working at height.
For instance, when you’re setting up your step ladder, take a look around for any potential hazards. Are you close to any doors where people could bump into the ladder? Are you close to any water or hazardous objects?
Additionally, you should also keep an eye on the weather when using a step ladder outdoors. It can be dangerous to work at height in windy or rainy conditions, as this can weaken your balance, your grip and your vision. All of these factors can increase your risk of falling and injuring yourself.
Position The Step Ladder Correctly
If you fail to set a ladder up correctly, then you may fall off the ladder before you even start the job! To safely position and erect your step ladder, you should firstly find an even, unmovable base to put it on. Regardless of convenience, you should never use loose stones or soil as a base for your step ladder!
Secondly, you should secure all of the locking mechanisms of your ladder to ensure that they are in place ready for use. Next, you can complete your thorough visual inspection, and if everything looks safe and secure, you’re good to go!
We hope this blog has helped you learn how to stay safe while using a step ladder. Remember: it’s always better to be safe than sorry!