Industrial ladder in Marrieta, GA A Safety Guide to Using an Extension Ladder

A good extension ladder is one of the most invaluable tools used in industrial and construction environments because of the reach such ladders provide in a comparatively compact package. Widely available at many builders’ supply stores, extension ladders are used by many trades and industries routinely to carry out their daily business. As commonplace as they may be, however, if you use an industrial ladder in Marietta, GA, there are some safety measures that you should undertake to ensure that you don’t experience unfortunate injuries.

While the first step in incorporating an extension ladder into your daily work is selecting the right ladder for your needs, there are some other behavioral and positional measures you need to take to ensure proper and safe usage. A ladder, by nature of its purpose, includes the inherent risk of working at elevated heights, making safety that much more important. Falls are dangerous, and an extension ladder that’s improperly positioned or used can result in severe injury. To avoid such accidents, simply follow these simple rules whenever an extension ladder is used.

Start with Proper Setup

If you don’t use an extension ladder in your daily work, you may not even know that there’s a right and wrong way to set it up. Don’t just toss the ladder against the wall and start climbing. There’s a mathematical ratio that provides a safe setup, so it’s important to get as close to that ratio as possible. Shoot to create a 4:1 ratio when setting up a ladder. That means that, for every four feet of height between the base of the ladder and where it meets the wall, you should have one foot of space between the base of the ladder and the base of the wall. A good rule of thumb is that if you put your toes against the ladder base and extend an arm parallel to the ground, you should be touching a rung with your fingertips.

Level the Ladder

Though it may be challenging in some circumstances, level ladder placement is key to safety. Your ladder is only going to be as stable as the base. You should try to place the ladder on flat, level ground that’s solid enough to prevent the ladder from sinking into it. If the spot where you need to place the ladder is rough or unstable, you may want to dig out the high side to level the ladder or build a small platform to create a firm, flat, stable foundation for the ladder.

Worker climbing extension ladder Leave the Lean on the Ground

When you’re working on a ladder, there are some things that you simply shouldn’t do because they’ll shift the balance of the ladder or you, the user. Remember that the ladder can act as a lever of increasing force the higher you climb. Therefore, a slight lean that would be almost unnoticeable with both feet on the ground can change the balance of the ladder tremendously if you’re near the top of it. Try to keep your hips centered between the side rails of the ladder any time you’re off the ground.

Stay Off the Top Rungs

The great thing about an extension ladder is that it can be extended to reach any desired height within its range. That means that there’s no reason to engage in the risky behavior of using the top rungs on the ladder. Doing so can throw the balance of the ladder off and create a considerable hazard for the user. For the safest usage, avoid standing on the top three rungs of an extension ladder.

Using an extension ladder can be dangerous since it involves working at height. However, by following a few safety tips, you can ensure that you remain safe while using an extension ladder to extend your reach. To learn more about safely using an extension ladder, contact Preferred Roofing at (678) 395-6880.