6 Ways to Stay Safe on Ladders and Steps During the Winter

6 Ways to Stay Safe on Ladders and Steps During the Winter

05th March 2020

Ladders and steps present potential safety risks, especially during the winter when the likelihood of accidents is relatively high. Wet grounds, ice, and snow can make using the ladder more challenging. This means you have to be extra careful to avoid falling victim to potential injuries. Below are some of the effective ways to enhance safety on ladders and steps during the winter.

1.    Conduct a Thorough Inspection
A thorough inspection of your ladder before using it is vital, regardless of the time of the year or how old the ladder is. Even a new ladder can be dangerous. Most accidents involving ladders usually occur due to user ignorance and negligence. Never assume anything. Inspect your ladder always to ensure it’s in good shape before you begin your task. Check for anything that could create a safety hazard, such as damages and slippery surfaces. 

2.    Choose the Right Ladder
Having the right ladder for the task at hand is very essential. Pay attention to the material of construction and the maximum weight the ladder can handle. Different projects also require different-sized ladders. You should never, at any point, stand on the top step of your ladder. Instead, look for a longer ladder. You can easily lose stability and fall. 
Once you have identified the kind of ladder you’re looking for, it’s important to consider one that meets the health and safety standards in your region. For instance, CE marked fabrications are a guarantee that the product meets the relevant EU directives. 

3.    Observe Ladder Safety Guidelines
You need to observe all the ladder safety guidelines to be able to avoid the day-to-day risks involved with ladders and steps. For instance, always ensure to use the ladder at a 75-degree angle. If you must stretch, do so before using the ladder. Once on the ladder, avoid overstretching and overreaching as these can cause the ladder to become very unstable, leading to a fall. 

4.    Monitor Weather Conditions
If you’re working on an outdoor project that requires the use of a ladder, ensure to first check what the forecast says about your area. Using ladders and steps in high winds could lead to slips, trips, or falls that could cause serious injuries or even death. You should avoid working at height as much as possible if there’s a possibility of bad weather. Also, don’t forget to put on the right clothing and fall protection if you must work in such circumstances.  

5.    Check Your Feet and Working Area
The soles of your feet tend to pick up snow, dirt, and debris as you walk. You should always clean your soles prior to stepping on the ladder. Presence of these items in your working area also makes the surface slippery. Do not rest your ladder on leaves, debris, snow, or ice. Clear the area first and ensure the ladder rests on a clean, flat surface. 

6.    Use a Safety Mat
Footing ladder accessories enhance your stability when using the ladder. They can prevent your ladder from slipping, especially if the working area is filled with snow, ice, and debris. You can also use the footing accessories for stability on slippery steps.