When and How to Properly Use a Ladder

When and How to Properly Use a Ladder

08th January 2020

Do you have some tasks at home or in the workplace and you’re not sure whether you need a ladder or not? Well, this guide explains some of the common situations that could require the use of ladders and how you can safely use the equipment. It also explains the preferred type of ladder to use for convenience. 

 1.    Accessing the Roof
You could need access your roof for different reasons. It could be the routine maintenance for roof equipment and the roofing material or just for recreational purposes. Accessing the roof has always been a risky task, and you need to be competent enough before you even attempt to get on the roof. An extension ladder can come in handy for this task. However, ensure that the ladder extends at least three feet past the ledge to provide you with an allowance to hold onto when climbing off and back on. It’s essential to have a spotter to hold the base to keep the ladder stable and prevent it from falling while you’re up there. 

2.    Cleaning Gutters
Ladders are a popular go-to access tool when cleaning gutters. If your roof is fairly low, you can use a step ladder. Otherwise, look for an extension ladder. To avoid overreaching and potentially tipping the ladder, make sure you climb down and carefully move the ladder to the next section in line.

3.    Cleaning Windows
With an outdoor step ladder, cleaning windows is a breeze, especially for lower windows. It makes the cleaning process more convenient. For higher windows, look for an extension ladder, but ensure you have a solution to how you can safely get up and down the ladder with your cleaning gear. Before purchasing external access ladders, consider equipment that meets the relevant health and safety standards.

4.    Painting Walls and Ceilings
If you love painting, a step ladder must be your essential tool, both for indoor and not-so-high outdoor painting jobs. These ladders can provide extra stability while working. Most step ladders also have trays where you can rest your paint and brushes. Plus, double-sided models can accommodate two people at once - ideal for bigger painting tasks. 
However, step ladders may not be efficient for exterior walls, especially a 2+ storey property. In this case, you may need to use an extension ladder. Ensure to have a paint can hook and a tool belt for convenience. Safe handling is vital when climbing up or down the ladder - both hands should always be on the rungs. 

5.    Changing Light Bulbs
Not just any high thing like a chair or table can be fit for climbing when changing your light bulbs. They’re hardly designed to bear that kind of load and can easily overbalance or break, causing accidents that could result in some injuries. Instead, use a step ladder, which is designed for tasks like this. 

The Bottom Line
Ladders can only be used when a risk assessment proves using the equipment that provides higher level of all protection is not justified because of the threat to the safety of the user. They should be used only by competent persons who have been properly trained on the proper usage to avoid any potential injuries.