The work with the ladder are riskier because the uncertainty of ground conditions especially for portable ladders, the use of ladder for short duration which increase the likelihood of human errors and violations against the code of practice, the use of defective or unsuitable ladders etc.
To Understand the Ladder safety, we should be clear in two areas such as ,
· Hazards and Risks from work with ladder
· The Safety Measures to control the risks
Hazards & Risks from working with ladder:
· The slip out of ladder, due to the positing of ladder in excessive angle or the use of ladders in slippery areas
· The Falling of persons due to failure to maintain the three points of contact , carrying tools while climbing into the ladder, use of with damaged rungs , use of poor quality ladders etc.
· The falling of materials from the ladder due to the failure to use a tools bag, materials carrying systems etc.
· The Chance of electric shock by the use of unsuitable ladder for electrical works or presence of overhead power lines etc.
The Control measures for the ladder shall be divided into sections for easy understandings such as,
· Selection Of Ladder
· Positioning Of Ladder
· Use Of Ladder
· Inspection & Maintenance requirements
Positioning Of Ladder:
· Before siting the ladder , check that the ground conditions are even , stable and capable of withstanding the load
· Confirm that the area is free from loose soil and voids and drains
· If the area is made of loose soil , ensure that the area is compacted before siting the ladder
· Site the ladder on stable ,fixed upper points
· Position the ladder in a right angle (1 meter out for every 4 meter height) 75 degree
· Extend the ladder above stepping point at least 3 feet or 3 rungs to provide adequate hand hold for the person using the ladder
· Ensure that the area is free from other hazards such as overhead power lines and obstructions, projections etc.
· The ladder should be tied to a permanent structure wherever necessary to increase the stability
· Ensure that the ladder is secured at the both ends with the suitable base materials
· Where securing the ladder is not practicable , use the person to hold the ladder while in use , but remember most of the times it won’t be effective
· Confirm that the landing areas are provided with guard rails to prevent fall and the safe way is available to and from the landing point to the work area
Use Of ladder:
· Confirm that the person using the ladder is familiar with the precautions to be followed & hazards , risks involved
· Check the ladder, before use , to ensure it is free from defects , wear & tear etc
· Only one person should climb the ladder at one time
· Ensure that the person using the ladder is always maintaining the three points of contact , to reduce the likelihood of fall
· The ascending , descending of ladder , should be only done by facing towards the ladder
· The person using the ladder is provided with the tools bag , means of transportation of materials to reduce the risk of falling of objects
· Instruct the person of the dangers of overreaching & climbing in a sides
· If the power lines are present , confirm that the clearance distance is maintained otherwise the power lines are isolated to ensure safety
· Never allow the wooden ladder , which is painted, and which may obscure the defects
Inspection & Maintenance Requirements:
· Inspect the ladder before use , to ensure that is free from damage , wear and tear , corrosion
· Inspect at frequent intervals
· Inspect there is a doubt it is found to be faulty , damaged
· Ensure the maintenance is carried out in a periodical intervals