While step ladders are common fixtures in most of our homes and may not seem like much of a hazard, getting distracted and busy, or faulty products can cause injury. In order to avoid any safety mishaps, there are some simple measures that you can take to avoid turning a common household tool into a potential hazard.
Before you use the ladder, check the weight rating on it to ensure it can properly support you - this includes the weight of items or tools you may be lifting or holding while the ladder is in use.
Inspect the ladder before using it. Check for cracks in the steps or frame, corroded or loose rivets, and defective braces. If your ladder has any of these problems, it’s time to get a new ladder - don’t risk it malfunctioning or breaking by using it!
Open the stepladder fully and make sure that the braces are completed locked, then check the stability of the ladder.
Keep the ladder close to whatever you are working on to ensure you don’t need to stretch or extend yourself from the ladder at any point during the work. Stretching or straining away from the ladder can be a fall risk.
Don’t walk your ladder. Instead, climb down, close the ladder and move it closer to the task you are trying to complete.
Do not stand on or above the top two rungs of the ladder. The warning written on your ladder is there for a reason! It’s very easy to lose your balance if you stand on either of these rungs.
Grip the ladder firmly, using both hands when climbing up and down to avoid slipping or falling.
When using the ladder, do not put it in doorways or entryways where someone may walk out and accidentally run into you. This could lead to a fall, injury, or even death for you and/or the person who collides with the ladder.
Stepladders are very handy tools to have around the house; however, due to improper use, they are almost considered to be amongst the most dangerous. Don’t become complacent when using your stepladder just because it is a common or simple tool. Follow these safety tips and use common sense. If it doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t!