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Step Ladder Precautions

Aug 17, 2007
Just like every other tool in your tool shed, the simple step ladder also has a few precautions that you must be aware of. Although many of them seem like commonsense, many times while working we can forget these simple rules and end up getting hurt. A fall from as little as 3 feet can have serious repercussions.

The most important thing to remember about a step ladder is that just like any other ladder, it has a maximum weight allowance. These weight restrictions are placed on each ladder as to not weaken it over time. Every time you push the limits you are essentially weakening the integrity of the structure and it may not be evident at first, but you can assure yourself that this will result in damage to your ladder and yourself.

Only wood and fiberglass step ladders are safe to work with when around electricity. Electricity is always dangerous to work around, and if you are using a metal ladder, you are only increasing your chances of injury. If a live wire comes in contact with a metal ladder with you on it, then it is just as good as you grabbing the wire with your bare hands. For this reason, you should use a wooden or fiberglass ladder when working around electricity.

If you are working in front of a door, be sure that this door is locked and everyone in the vicinity knows that there is construction work in progress behind it. If you can, have someone help you to guard the door to ensure that no one tries to open it. It can take only a small nudge from a door to knock a stepladder off its balance.

The top two rungs of any step ladder are not to be stood on at any time. It is also worth mentioning that the surface on the opposite side, or bucket shelf, should not be stood on. This surface is only to be a surface for your tools, fasteners, or buckets of paint. It is not designed to bear the weight of anyone, child or adult.

While there are many other rules to abide by while on a step ladder, these are the most common ones that result in injury among workers. As long as you remember these simple rules, and the ones assigned by your ladders manufacturer then can be sure that you are working as safe as you possibly can. Step ladders are just like every other tool and all operation instructions must be followed properly to ensure your safety.
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