Ladders are utilized significantly in the construction industry. However, a great number of slips transpire when people are working on ladders. Furthermore, when working with a step ladder:
- The working area and activity is limited
- The hours involved in dragging and installing ladders is commonly underrated whenever planning your job
- The working posture on ladders is generally awkward (the necessity to stretch out laterally, work beyond shoulder levels and get up on narrow steps for some time) and may trigger musculoskeletal issues.
Because of this, you should look whether or not an lifting work platform or scaffolding is going to be less hazardous and significantly more reliable.
Step ladders must typically only be employed as a way of access to or egress from a work space. Every job undertaken from a steps should be easy task of limited length of time including painting a downpipe, repairing a gutter or performing small-scale electrical installations
Before beginning work
1. Ascertain the problems, evaluate the pitfalls and arrange the work
Take distinctive notice of:
- Power lines or many other electrical problems
- Individuals doing work underneath or traffic pedestrians below
- Vibration caused by nearby passenger cars, fixed or mobile plant
- High winds as well as other significant atmospheric condition
- Unstable, slippery or bumpy areas
- Fragile or unreliable vertical support
2. Favor the most suitable ladder for the project
Opt for a step ladder taking into consideration the following:
- Elevation of task
To illustrate: If utilizing an 2.4 metre step ladder will mean you will need to do the job above the third top step, go with a 3.3 metre ladder.
- Height above landing
In case working with a ladder to access an operational platform or roof structure, ensure the top of the step ladder is 900-1100mm above the significant foundation or roof structure.
Aluminium, metal or solid wood scaffold boards with totally exposed cable reinforcement within the stiles shouldn’t be put into use close to power lines or any other electric power hazards.
Hardwood step ladders should not be exposed to temperatures greater than 66°C for very long hours.
Talk over with the developer or other accredited individual if step ladders are to be utilized in a corrosive conditions.
- As a support for planks
Only industrial graded trestle and trestle-backed step ladders ought to be utilized to support a plank utilized as a work platform.
Only industrial rated extension ladders or single ladders fitted correctly with scaffold brackets and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions should be used to support a plank used as a work platform.
- As access to a surface
If a series of ladders are used to gain access to a surface, landing platforms should be provided at every 6 metre interval.
Portable single and extension ladders should not be used:
– in access areas or inside the arc of swinging doorways, and
– on working platforms to gain height over the protected edge.
3. Set up two ladders if needed
Produce safe access and egress for workers or for the movement of materials – use separate ladders for ascent and descent if crucial.
4. Check the condition of the step ladder
- Check the ladder every time you use it.
- Report any flaws straightaway.
- Never make temporary improvements. The ladder have to be taken out of service and fixed by a qualified individual.
- Never use a ladder you suspect is quite unsafe or not befitting the work.
Ladders also have to be examined:
- When obtained and before being employed for the 1st time,
- After drops or impacts, and
- Included in regular and documented maintenance processes.
5. Wear the suitable gear & check it before you use it
- Fully enclosed, slip resilient footwear.
- Gadgets for securing your tools – belt, lanyard, zippered pouch.
- A safety headgear if an individual is working higher than you, if you could hit your head or make contact with an electric risk.
6. Make sure the ladder is supported, strong and level
- Ladders should be placed on a firm and level footing. Make use of a plank or board under the feet to stop them sinking into soft ground. Be sure that the plank is steady and it is much wider as opposed to thick.
- If an extension ladder is placed against framing or brittle material, a support needs to be placed up against the stiles at the top to distribute the load.
- If an extension ladder is placed against a pole or tree, it has to be fitted with a pole chain, strap or hoop.
- If in doubt, make use of a help and support individual to carry the step ladder from beneath.
- Prior to climbing, test the ladder’s stability by jumping on the lower rung.
7. Set the ladder at a slope of approximately 4 in 1
- For every metre in height, the ladder feet should extend from the vertical surface by about 250mm.
8. Position the ladder for safe work
- Put the ladder so you may work facing the ladder and the task without tilting over to the side or over-reaching.
9. Be aware above
- Watch out for utility lines, other electrical hazards or rigging when putting the ladder into position or relocating it.
- If you must work in close proximity to utility lines or other power dangers, observe the correct RTA procedures.
10. Watch out down below and around you
- Contain and sign post your workplace and put in place TCPs and VMPs if appropriate.
- Never work closer than 1.2 metres to traffic.
- Secure your tools.
11. Clear the work area
- Clear the space around the base of the step ladder of devices and materials.
Safe use of ladders
A ladder should not be utilised as a replacement for guys, braces, struts, beams, skids, bridges, ramps or gangways or for any other use not constructed by the manufacturer.
1. Three safe points of contact
- Either one foot and two hands or two feet and one hand at all times.
- Have both of your hands able to grip the ladder when climbing. Have tools in a tool belt, holster or pouch – not your hands.
- Should the ladder is not really risk-free enough to permit you to maintain three points of contact (either by lashing and/or by a support person underneath), consider utilizing an EWP to perform the function.
2. No higher than the third stop step
- Don’t work any more than the 3rd top step.
- Go with a lengthier ladder or seek for a less dangerous way to do the task – eg utilising an EWP.
3. One ladder, one individual
If a 2nd individual does need to be on the ladder (emergencies only):
- Just one single individual to transfer each time
- Use a steeper base angle than 4 in 1
- Lash extension ladders in placement
4. Transferring the step ladder
- Don’t ever `walk’ the step ladder to reposition it.
- Eliminate equipment from the ladder prior to relocating it.
- Look out above for power lines, various other electric threats or rigging.
5. Don’t use a ladder to climb to an alternative ladder
6. Don’t leave a ladder unattended in a public site