Every home has a need for ladders, but which ladder they need varies a lot. That said, you can never go wrong with heavy duty aluminum ladders. However, there are still a few things that you have to consider when it comes to purchasing your ladders. Let’s take a look at some key factors.
The Size of Ladder You Need
There are attic ladders, extension ladders, loft ladders, step ladders, and more. Whichever one you end up choosing, you need to get the size right. Obviously, if you pick one that is too short, you won’t be safe trying to access whatever you’re trying to reach. For instance, with straight and extension ladders, you shouldn’t stand on the three top rungs due to balancing issues. When you pick your aluminum ladder, you have to know therefore what your working height is going to be, so that you find a ladder that allows you to reach that comfortably and safely. For an extension ladder, the normal working height is around three feet, and for step ladders, it is around six feet.
The Ladder’s Rating
When you choose your aluminum ladder, you need to make sure that it has the right safety rating. Every country has its own safety rating, such as the British Standard in the United Kingdom, and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) sets the standards in our country. If ladders meet their standards, then you know that they are as safe as they possibly can be. OSHA has also set the ANSI standards that manufacturers must adhere to.
Metal ladders are covered specifically under 30 CFR 1910.36. This highlights the general requirements for these types of ladders, but also the maintenance and care of these ladders. These requirements include:
- That the ladder does not have any sharp edges.
- That the ladder is structurally sound.
- That their rungs are treated, dimpled, or knurled so that they are more resistant to slips.
- That they follow the length restrictions as set by OSHA.
- That the steps are spaced in a uniform way, and that the space is no more than 12 inches between each step.
OSHA has also encouraged people to look after their portable aluminum ladders properly, as this ensures safety is maintained, as well as extending the lifespan of the ladder. Hence, if it ever tips, it should be immediately inspected for any visible damage such as loose joints and rivets, dents or bends, and so on. Additionally, if the ladder is found to be defective, it should no longer be used and it should either be repaired or disposed of. Furthermore, all ladders have to be clean. These rules and regulations apply mainly to those using aluminum ladders in the workplace, but domestic users should also follow them to ensure their personal safety.
The above is just a snippet of the available information on how to be safe using aluminum ladders. It is recommended to read the OSHA regulations in detail, as ladder accidents are common, yet almost always preventable.