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Ladder Inspection, Maintenance and Care

Using a damaged ladder doesn’t make sense. You need to inspect ladders before using them. Ladders with defective parts must be removed from service, red-tagged, and reported to your supervisor immediately. Proper care, maintenance and handling of ladders will help ensure your personal safety and reduce wear and tear.

Ladder inspections:  

Before using a ladder:
  • Make sure to use the right ladder for the task.
  • Check the rails for cracks, holes or deformities. If a ladder has a crack or hole, remove it from service.
  • Check for missing or broken rivets.
  • Make sure all working parts move properly and the connections are secure.
  • Carefully check spreaders, extension ladder locks, flippers and the “safety feet.”

Maintenance and care:
  • Keep ladders free of oil and other slippery materials.
  • Lightly lubricate moving parts.
  • Tag broken ladders and take them out of service. Only a qualified person can repair ladders. Ladders that cannot be repaired should be destroyed and discarded.
Transporting a Ladder:
  • Ask for help when carrying a ladder that is heavy, long or awkward.
  • When carrying a long ladder, keep the front end elevated, especially around blind corners, in aisles and through doorways.
  • Do not toss or drop ladders into truck or trailers.
  • Make sure to secure ladders to truck or trailer and drive slowly over rough terrain to avoid damaging the ladder.

Ladder Storage:

When storing ladders:

  • Make sure the ladder is easily accessible and there is adequate room for removal and inspection.
  • Never store a ladder where it could fall and hurt someone or become a tripping hazard.
  • If stored horizontally, support longer ladders at several points to avoid sagging.
  • Always store step ladders vertically.
  • Always store fiberglass ladders inside, or out of direct sunlight.
  • Store all ladders away from sources of heat, moisture or corrosive materials.
Ladders are great tools when used properly. Take time to inspect, maintain, transport, use and store ladders safely.

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