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Top Tips for Working With Ladders

Author: Sharon Ensbury/29 January 2015/Categories: PRODUCT GUIDANCE, Height access

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You may be aware that Action Handling stocks a large range of ladders and accessories. But you may not know that we also have a satellite site dedicated solely to ladders and safety steps, all geared towards helping you make the right choice for your business.

Humans, canny inventors that we are, have been using ladders for over 10,000 years, starting with simple constructions made from tree branches and evolving into the complex array of models we use today. Innovations have come with time and requirement, so ladders have changed to fit our needs, both in configuration and construction. The introduction of aluminium made ladders lighter and easier to handle, while fibreglass ladders, first produced in the 1940’s, are nowadays considered essential by the building trades for their durability and safety.

At Action Handling we believe that safety on ladders starts with the user, and so we always recommend that you select the correct type of ladder for your requirements. Health and safety has a number of checks that should be made before attempting any work with a ladder, to ensure employee safety:

  1. Check rungs or stiles for cracks and weaknesses. Cracks in fibreglass ladders are not always visible to the naked eye, so run your fingers over the rungs to check for any breaks.
  2. Ladders with repairs to the stiles or rungs should not be used. If in doubt, it’s always safer to err on the side of caution.
  3. Check ropes, guide brackets, latching hooks and pulley wheels for any faults before using.
  4. Painted ladders can hide defects, repairs or breaks, so they are not recommended for use.
  5. Missing safety feet are a no-no.
  6. Ladders must extend five rungs above the working platform. If the ladder is too short, do not extend it or stand it on a platform to reach the approved height.

In addition to the above, it is recommended that you never stand on the top step of a stepladder while working. Once your knees are level with the top step, you are at the maximum safe height.

Just about every business can use a ladder in one capacity or another. This is one of the reasons why Action Handling stock such a comprehensive range of ladders, safety steps and associated accessories. Whatever your job requirements, we have a ladder system to suit your needs. And our custom design service ensures that, if you need something outside the ordinary, we can make it for you.

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