Ladders are a pretty universal piece of equipment that every man and his dog has in the garage. Tradespeople have them, homeowners have them and (if you don't already) you should have one too!
If so many people have ladders then surely they must be safe. Right? Well, not necessarily. As with all pieces of equipment, the equipment itself might be perfectly safe, but if the person using it does so in an unsafe way, then that's where accidents and injuries occur.
When it comes to answering the question "are my ladders safe?" you need to consider a few things. Have you inspected the ladder itself for potential faults or weaknesses? And do you have the proper training and safety procedures in place to ensure that you can use the ladder properly?
How can you check if a ladder is safe?
If you've had a ladder stored away in the garage for a while, you might be wondering how safe it is to use. This is a perfectly normal concern that can be resolved by carrying out a simple ladder inspection before you get to work. During your initial inspection you should:
- Check that the rungs are all firmly attached and in place
- Look for damaged parts like corroded nails
- Identify any cracks or splits
- Ensure that all moving parts are working
If the ladder appears to be in good working order then it's probably safe to use. However, if for any reason you suspect that something has corroded, broken or stopped working since you last used it then it might be time to order a replacement. Take a look at our ladders below:
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How to use a ladder safely
It probably comes as no surprise that the biggest cause of ladder accidents is human error - and nothing to do with ladders themselves. As we said, ladders are safe as long as they're in the right hands. Here are a few points to remember if you want to use a ladder safely:
1. Always make sure that the work you need to do has been planned properly & that all risks have been considered.
2. Do as much work as you can from the ground. You should only use the ladder when it's absolutely necessary.
3. Ensure that the area you're working in has been cleared of obstacles/debris.
4. Think about what you're wearing. Do you need extra PPE to work safely?
5. Consider what would happen in the event of an emergency. Do you have the right precautions in place to prevent an injury?
By being aware of yourself, your surroundings and the task at hand, you can make sure that your ladder is safe. Climbing up your ladder with no prior thought is bound to cause an accident, so please be mindful of proper ladder safety practices before you get to work.
So to answer your question, "are ladders safe?" - yes. Ladders are an incredibly safe piece of equipment as long as they're looked after, checked regularly and used by a competent person.
Take a look at our other ladder safety blogs for more information:
If you have any other questions about our ladders, don't hesitate to give us a call on 01446 789538.