In this article, we learn how to safely use stepladders on construction sites. Safety is a major concern for everyone both on the construction site and house. This will help prevent 90 percent of ladder accidents that come as a result of a lack of safety
Ladder accidents can lead to life-threatening injuries and sometimes death. If you work on a construction site, the risks are even high. This is because there are some heavy machinery and materials involved in such sites. When using your stepladder in a construction site, setting it right and other precautionary measures are good for protecting you from harm.
For your safety when working with step ladders, you need to plan ahead. This is because there are so many factors to consider for your own safety. For instance, ladder height, ladder condition, maximum ladder weight, ladder material, and the ground condition. Join me in this article as we talk more about ladder safety in the construction site.
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How to Safely Use Stepladder on Construction Site
Though there are many types of ladders, step ladders need to be treated uniquely because of their self-supporting nature. Unlike the stepladders, where you lean them on the wall, stepladders have a self-support structure.
Here is a simple guide to keeping yourself safe with the step ladders.
Check the condition of the ladder
The condition of the ladder is very important when it comes to your safety. Before you begin your work, it important to check if the ladder is in good condition. Damaged stepladder, oily ladder, loose nuts, broken rungs pose a great risk to your safety at the site as you use it.
Therefore, before you use a ladder, do a thorough inspection of your step ladder.
Thorough ground check
Though your step ladder may be in good condition, unlevelled ground with obstacles can easily lead to a fall. Though some ladders are designed with levelers, a leveled ground is equally good for all ladder’s safety. An obstacle on the ground can easily lead to the ladder slipping and a fall.
Apart from obstacles, the ground can also be slippery which is not safe. You can either clean the surface or opt for another location for your ladder.
Ladder Weight Capacity
Every ladder has its designed weight capacity- the total weight it can sustain with utmost stability. As you plan and choose the best ladder to use on your site, get a ladder that can hold your weight. If you know you weight, you need to know which ladder to go for. Here is a global classification of ladders to the maximum weight they can support.
|Type III||Light duty||200 pounds|
|Type II||Medium duty||225 pounds|
|Type I||Heavy duty||250 pounds|
|Type IA||Extra heavy duty||300 pounds|
|Type IIA||Extra heavy duty||375 pounds|
One of the best ways to safely use a stepladder is selecting the ladder that perfectly hols your weight and that of the ladder.
Failure to select the right ladder weight capacity may lead to overloading the ladder and a fall and ladder damage is inevitable.
Using the Right Ladder Height
Every ladder including a step ladder should comfortably reach the working height without any struggle. If the ladder cannot reach the desired height with ease, it becomes a safety hazard. As you struggle to reach that point, a fall is so easy and therefore this should not be taken lightly.
For the sake of your safety, the top three rungs should not be used because they are not safe and can easily lead to a fall. That said and done, know your working height and choose the right ladder height accordingly.
There are stepladders made of fiberglass and there are those made of aluminum. Those made from fiberglass are non-conductive while those made from aluminum are not. Therefore when the construction site has electrical installations, a fiberglass stepladder would more convenient and appropriate.
A durable ladder is defined by its stability and the quality of materials. Durable and stable stepladders also have a high level of safety.
Setting the Ladder at the Right Angle
A stepladder ought to be set at an angle of 75 degrees. This is the most stable position and appropriate for working with a step ladder. Do not forget by using the spreaders appropriately until it’s well locked to avoid slipping back and a fall.
3-Point Ladder Control
Another way on how to safely use stepladders on construction sites is by using the 3 point control. This is a very important aspect when you are using any step ladder. This ladder control method involves when at least two feet and a hand touching the ladder or two hands and a foot touching the ladder. This 3-point control helps you to stay in control when you are using a step ladder.
Most importantly, facing the ladder when climbing and up and down the ladder is always good. This keeps you alert in case of any danger- a slip or a fall.
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Hopefully, you have learned the best ways on how to safely use stepladders on construction sites. In any case, ladder safety is very important.
By using the above safety guidelines and others, you are able to minimize ladder accidents. Apart from your safety, the safety precautions also help protect your ladder for longer and durable use.
Next time you are on a construction site, get the safety precautions. Plan ahead to avoid any kind of ladder accidents