Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Ladder for Your Task
Ladders are a useful and essential piece of access equipment. However, finding the right ladder for a specific task can be challenging, considering there are several types available and a vast array of materials used when constructing them. It’s essential to put the safety factor into consideration at any given time. On the brighter side, there are bodies such as the OSHA that have set regulations to govern the different types designed for a variety of purposes. Please read on to learn more about factors to consider when choosing the right ladder for a specific task.
The material should be resistant to rust, which can corrode the material rendering it weak and hence a threat to your safety. The strength of the material plays an important role as well; it should be strong enough to support you and the load you’re carrying. Stainless steel, aluminum, and fiberglass are common materials used to make external access ladders for industrial purposes.
However, some ladders designed for small, domestic tasks could be made of wood and plastic. The intended purpose and durability of the ladder also determine the material to be used. For safety reasons, ensure to check for ladders that conform to CE marked fabrications. This shows that the product meets the minimum applicable environmental, health, and safety directives for all products manufactured in or designed to be sold within the European Economic Area (EEA).
Common ladder types
There are quite a number of ladder types available, each with their unique advantages and disadvantages. Knowing some of these ladders will help you make an informed decision of the type that will be most suitable for a specific task at hand. The following are some of the common types:
- Step Ladders
These are the most popular kind used in most industries as well as homes for purposes of fittings and fixtures installation and repair work. They are conveniently portable and can support themselves. Step ladders can either be front step or twin step.
- Folding Ladders
As the name suggests, these are the ladders that can be folded with ease for convenient portability. They are well known for their ability to bear very heavy loads and to support themselves. Folding ladders are usually used in domestic situations, one of them being to safety features.
- Extension Ladders
These ladders are mostly designed for accessing higher places (especially in homes and when handling repair work) as they can be extended to make them longer for working at height. However, they can hardly support themselves. They comprise two parts, the base and the fly. How do they work? Simple, upon extension, the fly moves along the base hence increasing the length of the ladder.
- Platform Ladders
Platform ladders are mainly designed for tasks expected to take significantly longer to complete owing to their comfortability as compared to the other types. They have a rail guard on the top platform to enhance their safety.
The Bottom Line
Safety is one of the most sensitive subjects when it comes to ladders. It’s important to look for ladders that conform to the set safety, health, and environmental protection standards and meet all the minimum OSHA safety regulations. Cost and durability of the ladders are also important factors to consider and with our safety ladders all this has been considered to offer a safe access solution to heights. You should always consider the task at hand when determining the most appropriate type. Good luck!