The type of ladder you’re using makes all the difference. In fact, having the right ladder is the safest and most efficient way to complete any task. Unfortunately, some workers do not understand that there are factors to consider when choosing a ladder. Ignoring this fact can lead to injury or even death. Think about the times you were at a work site. How much of that time did you utilize a ladder? The truth is, depending on the task, your job may require ladders of different styles, sizes, Duty Ratings, and materials.
Some of the questions that may help you understand your ladder needs include:
- Where will you use the ladder? Indoors or outdoors or both?
- What projects or jobs will need the ladder?
- Will you be working around electricity or overhead power lines?
- How much weight will be on the ladder including tools and materials?
- Will there be obstacles in your way?
- How high will you have to travel?
- Will you use the ladder to reach other heights?
To keep you safe during your next project, Diamond Tool wants to help you choose the right ladder for your next job.
Four Key Elements to Consider When Selecting a Ladder
Step 1: Select Style – Is This the Right Kind of Ladder For My Job?
First, choosing the right style of ladder is key. The different designs or styles of ladders keep you safe and working when climbing or standing. If you choose the wrong style of ladder or maintain the improper use of a ladder, a fall or serious injury could result.
Step 2: Select Height – How High Are You Climbing?
On a stepladder, the highest permitted standing level is two steps down from the top. Any higher and you may lose your balance and fall. Generally, a person’s greatest safe reaching height is 4′ higher than the height of the ladder. Extension ladders are generally 7 to 10 feet longer than the highest support point. This general rule allows for effective usage, including:
- Room for setup
- Overlap of ladder sections
- Height restrictions
- Extension of the ladder above the roofline
- Remember, the highest standing level is four rungs down from the top of the ladder.
Step 3: Select Performance – How Much Weight Is On The Ladder?
The design of a ladder functions to hold up a specific weight amount. Duty Rating is a term that defines the maximum amount that the ladder can hold – its maximum safe load capacity. So, a person’s weight, their clothes, and the weight of any tools and materials must be less than the Duty Rating. Ladders are also built to handle various demands. For example, the ladder you have at home is not the same as the ladder used by a construction site. Construction site ladders have a higher Duty Rating than ladders found in your home’s garage. Workers should consider how much weight will be on the ladder, as well as what work the site needs. This will help them select the proper grade of ladder for its anticipated usage.
Step 4: Select Material – Will There Be Electricity Near Or Around The Ladder?
Lastly, when selecting the right ladder, consider the choice of the material it’s made of. Diamond Tool offers ladders made from fiberglass and aluminum. Each material has characteristics that work best for certain projects. For example, if a worker has to work around electrical wires, certain chemicals, or outdoor storage, this should have an impact on the material selection.