Quarve Contracting
Friday 25 July 2014

How to Be Safe When You Use Your Ladder

Posted by at 9:00 AM

07jul28a1a14If you own a home, at some time or another you're going to need to get up on a ladder.  When it comes to being on a ladder for whatever reason, you have to keep in mind that it can be dangerous. You want to ensure that you're going up the ladder safely and that you're using it in a proper manner.  This is especially important outdoors.
Always Read the Ladder Label
There should be a label located on the side of the ladder. You want to make sure to read this before getting on it.  And don't read it just once - it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the information each time you use that ladder.  There is important safety information printed on the label that you should follow for the maximum in safety while using it.  It can also let you know how to properly lock the ladder in place, break it down and so forth. Also, make sure to follow the weight guidelines given on this label. You want to be able to be as safe as possible. Contact the manufacturer of the ladder if the safety label is missing and you're unsure of how to use the ladder or how much weight it can support.
Ladder Inspection
The rungs and latching point of ladders are usually the problem areas that are seen the most often. Make sure that each rung is secure and that the latch locks before you get on it. You want to ensure that there is nothing slippery on the rungs either, because this can cause an accident. By properly inspecting the ladder before you use it, you're able to reduce any safety risks that come with using it. Make sure that you fully fold it out before climbing up and that the latching mechanism is locked in place. You do not want it to buckle on you once you're up on it.
Inspect Your Surroundings Before Using a Ladder
Make sure to inspect the area that you're going to be using the ladder in. Check the ground and overhead. You do not want to worry about hitting power lines that are up above you. You should also make sure that there are no slippery surfaces where you're going to be standing, and that includes wet grass. Also, make sure that nothing is around the ladder that might knock it down when you're up or on the ladder. Do not ever place the ladder on an unstable surface that is not going to be able to support the ladder.  That includes gravel or uneven ground.  If you're working in a flower bed or mulched area, it may be a good idea to put down a sheet of plywood or some other flat item that will support the weight of you on the ladder and keep it stabilized.
The Correct Positioning for a Ladder
You want the base of the ladder to open up to a width of around ½ of the working length of the ladder when it is resting. This could be against a wall or other sturdy surface. Leave at least 3 feet at the end of the ladder above the point of support when you're using a straight or extension ladder for the job. And NEVER EVER step on the top of the ladder (the flat part) - that's to hold your tools, paint can, etc., and it is not meant to stand on.  Make sure to always lock the ladder in place before you decide to climb on it. We know that many homeowners use ladders to clean out the gutters, check the roof or do many different exterior home repairs. There are some things such as roof and siding repair that are best left to a professional home improvement contractor, but for those homeowners that take on the tasks themselves, using the ladder properly is essential. If you notice any damage to the roof, gutters or other parts of the home while on the ladder, give us, here at Quarve, a call for an estimate on repairing the problem.  Our estimates are always cheerfully given and at no cost or obligation to you.  736.785.1472.