Extension ladders are mainly used to carry out a task that is high above the area like commercial buildings, roofs, cleaning gutters, etc. But the extension ladder should be used very carefully and position them correctly to avoid any mishappening. So to avoid any mishappening you should know how to use an extension ladder properly.
Extension ladders are the type of ladder which acts as a cross between a straight ladder and telescopic ladder. They are made up of two or more sections. In the extension ladder, the base section is thicker to provide support to the upper sections that slide the frame upwards and downwards.
Most of these ladders come with a pulley and rope system for raising the upper sections to the height required. It also has a locking mechanism which does not let the sections slide back down on its own.
A tool so useful and commonly used can also be extremely dangerous, and some of the facts explaining this are as follows:
- The leading country in deaths happened due to a ladder as the cause is the United States. Each year more than 1,64,000 people reach the hospital because of ladder injuries.
- According to HSE.co.uk 111 Workers killed in 2019/20
- Maximum deaths happened are from the fall from a height of 10 feet or less.
- These number of deaths happened due to the ladders has been tripled in the past few decades.
The solution to avoid these injuries and deaths is mainly by ladder safely and securely use the extension ladder with every precaution that can be taken at the situation the ladder is being used.
How to Use An Extension Ladder Properly
The right way to use an extension ladder is explained under as follows:
Choosing the right ladder for the task and Inspecting it
Firstly, choose the right ladder for the task you have to perform to ensure your safety while at a height.
To choose the right ladder buy the ladder of the maximum height and make sure that it supports the weight you are going to put on the ladder. There are five classes of extension ladders which you can get from the market:
- Type IAA
- Used for Special Duty
- Weight up to 375lbs
- Type IA
- Used for Extra Duty
- Weight up to 300lbs
- Type I
- Used for Heavy Duty
- Weight up to 250lbs
- Type II
- Used for Medium Duty
- Weight up to 225lbs
- Type III
- Used for Light Duty
- Weight up to 200lbs
The selection of ladder will be according to your needs. And never skip the weight part while selecting the ladder.
After selecting the ladder, always inspect it. Never let on your own that the ladder is in the condition that it should be in. Check every aspect that there should not be any kind of dent or damage, it should not be slippery, locking mechanisms should be working.
Setting up the Ladder:
After inspection place the ladder on the surface with a 4:1 ratio. This means that the height with the base should be one foot away for every four foot of height you are going to climb.
Use the ladder properly
After placing the ladder on the surface you have to climb, use the ladder properly for climbing the ladder. You should always face the surface and the ladder while climbing. Don’t get distracted while climbing the ladder. Always maintain the three points of contact with the ladder and maintain your centre of gravity on the side rails.
Using an extension ladder should be carefully handled and always place at a plain surface where there is no uneven concrete floor. Also if possible take someone help when you are climbing the ladder so that other person can easily hold the ladder while you are doing your work.