Saturday, May 23, 2020

Ladder Safety and Toolbox Talks

Ladder Safety and Toolbox Talks

Types of Ladders

There are many kinds of ladders and it is necessary to select the right ladder for the work. Following are some different types of ladders:
1. The Extension/Straight Ladders
2. The Fixed Access Ladders
3. The Stepladder Ladders
Now let us discuss the above-mentioned types of ladders

1. Extension/Straight Ladders

When using a straight or extension ladder, keep the ladder on a stable surface. Always make sure that it has slip-resistant feet, use a safe and secure blocking system or ask someone to hold the extension ladder. When utilizing the extension ladder step up the extension ladder to the required height and be ensure that both sides are locked properly to avoid any collapse.
The top of the extension ladder should expand at least 3 feet over the contact point. Always follow the ‘4 to 1’ rule: One foot back for every four feet up. When you set up the extension ladder, count the number of rungs up to the point where the step Ladder contacts the wall point. The bottom of the extension ladder must be one (1) rung’s length out from the wall for each of the four rungs up to the wall. If necessary, secure and safeguard the top of the extension ladder. Always tie the top of the extension ladder to an anchor point to make it more secure and safe for use.

2. The Fixed Access Ladders

The Fixed ladders are required when regular access is required to equipment, tool or machinery elevated either above or below of the floor levels. At the time of installing a fixed Access ladder, we ensure the design requirements comply with OHSA (USA), Regulations for the Industrial Establishments, Section 18 and or OSHAD SF 37.0-Ladders-Version 3.0, July 2016 use proper safety precautions, and Personal Protective Equipment, for example, a fall arrest harness and a traveling fixture, etc. While using the always keep three points of control. This can be practice or is done by having two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on a ladder at all times.
When you start climbing up fixed access or any type of ladder, always face the ladder and place your feet strongly on each rung of the ladder. Ensure that your footwear is clean and free of mud, oil or other lubrication contamination. If you require any tools or equipment to raise or lower using a hand-line or place the tools in a bag.

3. The Tripod Orchard Ladders

The Tripod orchard ladders are made to utilize on soft and uneven surfaces, and such type of ladders do not have spreaders. A tripod orchard ladder has a single back leg for the stability and safety for the user. This contributes to comparatively stable support on uneven surfaces.
This Tripod utilized on firm, flat ground conditions. The steps of such orchard ladders are at least 27 inches long and should have a metal angle brace. The maximum flare on the top to bottom rails (averaging approximately 2.25 inches per foot) is required to stabilize the base of the ladders. To avoid excessive penetration in soft soil, a double base on the rails is maintained.
A tripod orchard ladder should be utilized for particular activities, such as pruning and harvesting of the plants or trees. The top of the tripod orchard ladder can be made of a combination of wood or metal. Only one person should be on the tripod ladder at one time. While using such a ladder, the back of the ladder should be towards the tree center, providing extra support if the worker slips from the tripod ladder. Never use the top of the ladder as a step or overreach.

4. The Step-Ladders

Most of the straight ladders rules also apply to the stepladders. Never try to use the step ladder as a straight ladder. Always use a platform type stepladder with the side rails – it provides safer support and a more stable working surface. Be sure to lock the stepladder – spread the legs to their limit and make sure the braces are locked properly.

The Classifications of Ladder

The Material of the Ladders

All the Ladders are manufactured with various materials, and each material having its uses and limitations. Those various materials could be the following:
1. Aluminum
2. Fiberglass
3. Wood
4. Steel
Now let us discuss these above materials specifications.


The most of Ladders are manufactured with the Aluminum. The reasons for using this material for ladders manufacturing is the following:
  • Lightweight
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Corrosion-Resistant
The Aluminum conducts heat and electricity; therefore, it should not be utilized where either of these conditions exists such as for electrical activities.

The Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a man-made, non-conductor of heat and electricity and is also moisture and corrosion-resistant but such ladders are heavier than Aluminum ladders. So, Fiberglass ladders should be utilized for all electrical activities and where accidental contact with electrical wires may occur.

The Wood

In the early ages of the uses of the wood and it is the natural source of the material. Such wood ladders are frequently used before the introduction and invention of the Aluminum. Despite fiber and Aluminum, wood ladders are heavier and absorb the moisture. The Wooden ladders are non-conductors of heat and electricity when kept clean and dry and free of moisture. The Wood ladders must not be painted because it may hide critical glitch and cracks.

The Steel

Mostly, the Steel ladders supposed to be very heavy but are made for particular load requirements. They are heavy conduct of heat and electricity; therefore, should not be utilized in such circumstances. The steel is rich to rust and corrosion.

Hazards Associated to the Ladders

The most of injury statistics show that the use of various ladders leads to various hazards. And such injuries cause permanent disability.
The various hazards associated with ladders include:
  • Falling from the ladders
  • Smacked by falling off ladders
  • Hit by materials falling from ladders
  • Tripping over ladders (while the erection of or lying on the floor)
  • Ergonomics issue by Lifting heavy ladders
  • Striking with the persons or objects when carrying the ladders
  • Contact with live electrical equipment or overhead wires

General Safety Practices

  • Use the right ladder for the job task
  • Always inspect the ladder before and after use
  • Get help while moving heavy ladders
  • Ensure that the portable ladders are fixed on a steady surface
  • When climbing on the ladder make sure shoes are clear of mud, snow and grease contamination.
  • Always secure the foundation of the ladder from accidental contact with human or vehicle.

Ladder Safety

  • Always secure the top of a ladder while using it to access a scaffold and make sure that the top of the ladder expand over the upper surface
  • Always face the ladder while ascending or descending – practice three points of control
  • Do not carry materials in your hands while ascending or descending
  • Always allow one person at a time on the ladder
  • Never overreach beyond the side rails of a ladder 
  • Don’t stand higher than on the third rung from the top of a step ladder
  • Assess hazards and keep away from power lines or other hazards. In such conditions, always use a fiberglass ladder - NEVER work with a metal ladder around live power lines
  • Employees should receive working at heights training by a competent person
  • Store ladders where they are not exposed to extreme weather conditions.
  • Ladders should be cleaned from all oil or mud contamination.
  • The Moving parts of the ladders should be kept clean and lubricated
  • Always store ladders horizontally on particular racks, with support every 2m (6ft)
  • Inspect for common faults such as broken rungs, split side rails, worn or broken safety feet, and oily or greasy which can make climbing surfaces slippery and leads to injuries
  • Always use tag a faulty ladder for repair or replacement
  • Discard or remove ladders that cannot be safely repaired from the worksite


All of the employees or workforce must be properly inducted or trained for the following:
  • Select the right ladder for the activity
  • Assess the area or condition of the floor or ground to be used.
  • How to level the ladder or surface to install the ladder
  • How to detect and inspect for defects
  • How to use ladders safely and securely
  • The severe risks and dangers of overreaching.


  • CAN/CSA – Z11: Portable Ladders
  • ANSI ASC A14.2-2007: Portable Metal Ladder Safety Requirements
  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD)
  • Ohio State University Extension, Proper Use of Ladders

Ladder Safety Toolbox Talks

No comments:

Post a Comment

Kindly do not enter any spam link in the comment box