The Month of March is where ladders start to become a part of a DIYers life again. While a lot of projects around the house could not be done without ladders, they can also make projects a bit more dangerous if not used properly. The consumer product safety commission estimates that ladder accidents result in 150 deaths and over 180,000 accidents per year. Below is some information about ladders and some things to do to avoid accidents.
The material a ladder is made of can significantly affect its performance and your safety. Aluminum ladders are a good choice because they combine strength with little weight. Fiberglass ladders are the best choice for doing electrical work or when working near power lines because fiberglass is non-conductive. Wood ladders, on the other hand, are almost a thing of the past. They are heavy and more fragile than aluminum or fiberglass. Although I still have a couple of wood ladders at home, I use them only for light-duty tasks such as replacing light bulbs and dusting the blades of ceiling fans. At my place of work we no longer use wood ladders — most of them became unstable and warped with age, and many were crack
ed or missing pieces. Unless your wood ladder is in good condition, stick with more modern materials.
Ladders are rated by the amount of wei
ght they can safely bear (including the person
using the ladder plus any tools and materials). Each is clearly marked with a color-coded label stating its duty rating:
•Red (Type III) is for light-duty and household use and can support up to 200 pounds.
•Green (Type II) is medium-duty (up to 225 pounds) and suffices for most painting and handyman tasks.
• Blue (Type I) is considered heavy-duty (up to 250 pounds).
•Orange (Type IA) is extra-heavy-duty (up to 300 pounds).
•Yellow (Type IAA) is special- or rugged-duty (up to 375 pounds).
Each time you use a ladder, inspect it to ensure that it’s in good working order and free of any grease, dirt or oil that might cause you to slip. Make sure that all of the mechanical parts operate smoothly. As you set it up, follow these rules:
• Open stepladders to their full width, and make sure that the cross braces are locked in place.
• Never use a stepladder as you would an extension ladder (folded flat and leaning against the wall).
• A ladder’s legs must rest on a firm, level surface. This is usually not a problem indoors, but outdoors you may need to shim one or both of the legs with wood or another flat, hard material. These supports must be able to bear the combined weight of the ladder, the person climbing and any materials and tools. The supports should also be large enough that the ladder’s legs won’t slip off of them if your weight shifts the position of the ladder slightly. Ladder levelers, short extensions for the legs of extension ladders, will do the same job without the risk of slippage.
• Extension ladders must extend at least 3 ft. above the highest support point (such as the gutter or roofline) to provide a handhold when stepping from the ladder to the roof and to allow for extra contact area in case the ladder shifts.
• If your ladder’s legs must rest on a slope, be sure to block behind the ladder by driving stakes, such as pieces of pipe or rebar, deep into the ground. The little metal teeth on the feet of the ladder are not enough to keep the ladder from slipping.
• No matter how well you position your ladder, it never hurts to have a spotter, especially if the ladder is leaning against a curved surface, such as a tree.
• Never move a ladder while standing on it. Always climb down, move the ladder, check its stability and then climb back up.
If you have areas in your home you cant get to or do not have a ladder to accomplish the project you want to do around your home, click the “contact” button to the right and let Screw Loose? LLC take care of the rest.
Thanks for your time, I hope this helps…………..